With an additional $15 million donation to her campaign this week, California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has surpassed the record for personal campaign spending previously held by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Whitman has now spent $119 million of her personal fortune, and with a month and a half left to go until the election. Bloomberg won his race having spent $109 million.


"It's hard to argue that she doesn't in her heart of hearts think she can make that state better," he commented Thursday. "I don't think there's any better evidence of that than her spending her own money."

Whitman has been pressed to defend her heavy spending, especially in light of her plan to cut public financing for welfare and pension benefits if elected.

"My job is to spend money to get out this message," she told an audience at the Yelp headquarters in San Francisco. "And to make sure every Californian has all the information they need to make an informed decision. It takes a lot of money to be competitive in California."
Her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown has spent less than $500,000 through June, though he did not face a significant challenge in the primary.

Polls show that Whitman leads by up to five points.