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Two Democrat-backed groups formed to back Jerry Brown and oppose Republican Meg Whitman in the gubernatorial race announced today that they will join forces and combine resources ahead of the general election.

The Democratic Governors Association, which had launched the anti-Whitman California Accountability Project is joining the effort of California Working Families for Jerry Brown for Governor, a committee backed by labor unions including California Professional Firefighters, SEIU State Council and the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California.

"Now, as the primary draws to an end, we must turn our focus to ensuring Democrats take back the California governorship. No other candidate is better equipped to handle the priorities of California's working families in today's tough economic reality than Jerry Brown," DGA Executive Director Nathan Daschle said in a statement.

California Working Families has not reported any contributions in campaign filings, though organizers have said they plan a budget of $20 million to $30 million. The DGA fund reported $147,000 cash on hand when it filed its state campaign finance report last week.

A source affiliated with the Working Families campaign said the group has secured more than $12.5 million in commitments and plans to run a "very aggressive" $26 to $34 million campaign this summer.

UPDATE: 1:36 p.m.: The California Federation of Teachers also announced today that it would come on board with the Working Families effort.

"Jerry Brown is the right choice for California's teachers, support staff and students," said CFT President Marty Hittelman said in a statement. "No other candidate is better equipped to understand and deal with the issues facing education in California. Meg Whitman has already pledged to corporatize and shrink educational opportunities in California and we will not let that happen."


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