Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t officially running for a second term yet, but wealthy donors are acting as if he will by writing big checks for his campaign fund. Photo: Max Whittaker/Prime, Special To The Chronicle

Carla Marinucci
Published 4:42 pm, Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown hasn’t officially declared he’ll run for a historic fourth term – but a number of wealthy donors, including health care interests, casinos, tech executives and Hollywood celebrities, have already placed their bets on his future by making hefty donations toward the 2014 governor’s race.

State records show that Brown’s campaign picked up $5.3 million in major donations alone – checks of $5,000 or more – from July 1 through Dec. 31. That added substantially to Brown’s take from the first half of 2013, when he reported $2.8 million in total contributions and $10 million cash on hand, according to the secretary of state’s office.

The major donations came from a diverse group that included several movie studios, actors Robert Downey Jr. and Kirk Douglas, porn king Larry Flynt and an Indian casino whose expansion was christened by Brown in December.

Brown’s cash pile dwarfs those of the two Republicans who have announced they will run against him, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks (San Bernardino County).

Donnelly raised $83,000 and spent $69,000 in the first half of the year, the secretary of state’s office reported. After he officially announced his campaign in November, Donnelly raised another $87,400 from major donors through the end of the year.
Big gifts dry up

Maldonado, who announced in April, raised $94,400 in major donations in the second half of the year, state records show. He had $44,600 cash on hand as of June 30.

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