Gavin Sitting on Big Pile of Cash

By Matt Baume
|  Monday, Oct 25, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM PDT
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Gavin Sitting on Big Pile of Cash

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom brought his daughter Montana Tessa to cheer on the Giants for Game Five at AT&T Park.

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Being rich sure does seem like fun.

Gavin Newsom's campaign coffers are filled to bursting right now, thanks to an aggressive fundraising push. He's raised about $3 million -- that's nearly twice what his competitor, incumbent Abel Maldonado, has raised.

That translates into about a half million of readily accessible cash for the San Francisco mayor, and only about $300,000 for Maldonado. Still nothing to sneeze at, of course.

Both candidates have plenty of wealthy friends to fund their campaigns. Gavin's been getting money from unions and firefighters, while Maldonado's chief backers include former LA Mayor Richard Riordan and, like Newsom, firefighters.

Gavin's also a hit with local school kids. At a recent campaign stop at Richmond Elementary, he was mobbed by small children demanding autographs.

Maldonado's biggest ally appears to be himself. He gave his own campaign a $100,000 loan.

Despite the healthy funding and a slew of endorsements, polls show the two candidates running neck-and-neck, so there's no telling which one will actually win. The two candidates have recently stepped up the rhetoric, with harsh new ads targeting each others' weaknesses.

But does it actually matter? Some observers point out that the lieutenant governor's race is pretty low-powered, with responsibilities limited mostly to appointing bureaucrats.

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