Republican voters elected a wealthy businesswoman to lead them in one of the state's highest-profile races this November. Billionaire and former E-Bay chief executive Meg Whitman easily won the GOP gubernatorial nomination and is eager to take on the democratic challenger, former Governor Jerry Brown.
"Jerry Brown has spent a lifetime in politics and the results have not been good. Failure seems to follow Jerry Brown everywhere he goes," said Whitman.
Whitman has broken all primary spending records. She spent $81-million on her run for the GOP nomination. All but $10-million was her own money. She has said she would spend $150-million on her gubernatorial bid.
Brown has $20-million in the bank so far but is not expected to be able to match Whitman's millions. He is relying on democratic aligned independent groups to fund an opposition campaign.
Whitman has already turned her attention to her next opponent, Democratic Candidate Jerry Brown. Brown officially claimed a spot in the November race with his victory last night. "I looked at the partisan gridlock in Sacramento and the truth is I believe I can fix it. Not over night. It took too long to get here. But I believe if we pull together we can fix things. Fix it we will. I have no doubt, with your help that's what we're going to accomplish," said Brown.
Brown is a longtime politician who was Governor from 1975-1983. He is currently the State Attorney General and also served as the Mayor of Oakland.
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina hopes she can defeat incumbent Barbara Boxer for the U.S. Senate seat. Fiorina won the republican nomination.
Fiorina received a boost from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who endorsed her and recorded a phone message that went out to thousands of California republican voters. In the race for the 19th Congressional District, State Senator Denham celebrated with supporters in Turlock. Denham arrived to loud cheering and applause after the first round of results was released, which showed him with a significant lead. The results fluctuated throughout the night as more precincts reported, but the state senator never relinquished his lead.
Denham says he believes he had a slight edge because voters know him and his politics from the eight years he's spent in the state senate. But he admits the campaign wasn't easy.
Tuesday night Senator Denham received congratulatory calls Congressman George Radanovich and one of his opponents, Larry Westerlund. Former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson said he was proud of the campaign he ran for the 19th Congressional District.
Patterson spent election night thanking his supporters and volunteers. He trailed all evening by as much as 10 percent. The last 8 weeks he hit the campaign trail hard, working to reach out to voters. Patterson says he has no regrets. For now he plans to get some rest, regroup and figure out what's in store next.
"I would've have liked to go to Washington as the congressman from this district but I settled this a long time ago with myself, with god, and my family. There is something else for me after this that will be meaningful and that will allow me to spend time with my kids and grandkids here in my hometown, that's not really losing anything," said Patterson.
Despite being outspent 6 to 1, Patterson said he ran an effective grassroots campaign.