So it will be the former eBay CEO against the former governor of California come November.
Republican billionaire Whitman invested more than $70 million of her own fortune in the governor's race against state insurance commissioner Steve Poizner, a wealthy former businessman who put $24 million into his campaign.
The Associated Press called the race shortly after 8:30 p.m.
As for Brown, the current state Attorney General and former two-term governor seeking to return to the office, easily won the Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday.
called the race shortly after polls closed around the state at 8 p.m.
During the campaign, Brown lamented the fact that millions were spent by his Republican opponents in attack ads. In reality, the intra-party brawl has gave his campaign new life.
Not long ago, during the California Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles, Brown was starting to sound desperate. eMeg was pouring it on with television spots touting her background in business and her rendition of all that was wrong with the state. A few polls had popped up showing she was not only 50 points ahead of her Republican rival, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, but she would beat Jerry in a head-to-head match up in the fall.
Brown issued a first-ever pre-primary "threeway debate" challenge between himself and the two Republicans as a way to get some free media. Didn't work.
As governor back in the 70s, Brown once pontificated that "sometimes the best action is no action at all." Such was his strategy for much of the campaign, with him staying mum on most issues.
Neither Brown or Whitman's win is a surprise.
Earlier on Tuesday, a confident Whitman was practicing her acceptance when a San Francisco Chronicle reporter recorded her teleprompter speech.
Whitman proclaimed "Thank you so much ... What a great night! This victory is yours! I just received a very gracious phone call from Steve Poizner conceding the race.” The Chronicle reporter captured the whole thing using a small camera.
It can be viewed on the San Francisco Chronicle website.
NBCLA reporter Conan Nolan covering the Whitman victory party reported that she planned on accepting the nomination before Poizner concedes. The very first poll results released Tuesday night showed Whitman leading Poizer about 2-1.
The biggest loser of the night is Silicon Valley's Steve Poizner. He was one of the first candidates to concede tonight. After leaving the small crowd in Orange County, Poizner flew home to the Bay Area.
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