Gov. Jerry Brown spent the final days of December posting one of his most profitable fundraising periods to date, collecting $1.7 million for his re-election campaign in the last week of the year, according to a campaign report filed over the weekend.
Donations from labor unions accounted for nearly half of the total, and the Democratic State Central Committee of California continued with its largess. The committee, which as a political party is not subject to contribution limits, donated $300,000 to Brown, increasing its total contribution for the year to $2.7 million.
Brown has not yet said if he will seek re-election, but he is widely expected to run. The Democratic governor has now raised nearly $17 million for the campaign, while his Republican challengers have failed to raise even a fraction of that amount.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association and California Association of Professional Scientists were among donors contributing $54,400, the maximum allowed. Other unions contributing to Brown include groups representing plumbers, sheet metal and electrical workers.
In addition to labor, Brown collected $54,400 each from Chevron and BNSF Railway, and $27,200 from CBS Corp.
DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg contributed $27,200, maxing out to Brown after another contribution of the same amount earlier in the year.
Also contributing the maximum allowed to the third-term governor were Peter Guber, the film producer, and Joe Lacob, co-managing member and chief executive officer of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
Two Republican candidates, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, have struggled to raise several hundred thousand dollars between them, while a prospective candidate, former U.S. Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari, has not yet started raising money.
Brown is considered exceedingly difficult to beat in this heavily Democratic state. Reflecting how hard it has been to raise money against him was an appeal Donnelly sent to supporters late last year. He said his campaign had surpassed its goal of raising more than $20,000 in the final eight days of 2013 and was becoming more ambitious.
The campaign's adjusted goal for its year-end fundraising sprint was less than Brown has collected in a single check from many of his donors: $25,000.
PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown talks to members of the press after speaking at a rally for crime victims in Sacramento on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua