2010 Governor Races Broke $1 Billion Mark
By Daniel C. Vock, Staff Writer
That is the highest mark since the institute started tracking governors races nationwide in 2000, although, in inflation-adjusted terms, elections in 2002 were slightly more expensive.
By far the biggest chunk of this year's money came from the candidates themselves. They accounted for nearly a third of all the money spent on the campaigns. Led by Meg Whitman of California and Rick Scott of Florida, self-financed Republicans spent eight times as much as their Democratic counterparts.
The financial sector, led by real-estate interests, was a distant second as a source for campaign cash, coming up with nearly $68 million. Lawyers and lobbyists came in third, pitching in $45 million.
The contest in California (won by Democrat Jerry Brown) was far and away the most expensive, but candidates in New Mexico and seven other states spent more per resident than those in California did. Republican Susana Martinez, who won, and her Democratic opponent Diane Denish combined to spend $9.63 per New Mexican on their campaigns .
Gubernatorial candidates in Maine, Hawaii, Connecticut, Vermont, Wyoming and South Dakota also spent more per resident than California, according to a Stateline analysis of the institute's data.
The institute calculated that more than $2.4 billion was spent on all state-level campaigns last year, which includes funds used for other statewide contests, legislative races and ballot measures.