The 2010 California gubernatorial election was held November 2, 2010 to elect the Governor of California. The primary elections were held on June 8, 2010. Because constitutional office holders in California are prohibited from serving more than two consecutive terms on the same office for life since 1990, incumbentRepublicanArnold Schwarzenegger was ineligible to run for re-election for a third term. Former Governor Jerry Brown, the winning candidate, took office on January 3, 2011.
The following were certified by the California Secretary of State as candidates in the primary election for governor. Candidates who won their respective primaries and qualified for the general election are shown in bold.
1. Eliminate small business start-up tax ($800 fee for new business start-ups)
2. Eliminate factory tax
3. Increase R&D tax credit (increase from 15% to 20%)
4. Promote investments in agriculture
5. Eliminate the state tax on capital gains
1. Stimulate clean energy jobs (build 12,000MW of localized electricity generation; build 8,000MW of large-scale renewables; appoint a Clean Energy Czar)
2. Invest in infrastructure/construction jobs (federal dollars for projects; prioritize water needs; high-speed rail; strengthen the port system; prioritize use of existing funds for job creation; infill development
3. Create strike team to focus on job retention
4. Cut regulations (speed up regulatory processes and eliminate duplicative functions; develop CEQA guidelines; fully utilize administrative law; update outdated technology systems
5. Increase manufacturing jobs
6. Deliver targeted workforce training programs
7. Invest in education
1. Direct more money to classroom
2. Reward outstanding teachers
3. Eliminate cap on charter schools
4. Grade public schools A-F
5. Establish fast-track parent process for charter school conversions
6. Invest $1 billion in UC and CSU University systems
7. Utilize alternative paths to the classroom to attract high quality teachers
1. Higher education (create new state master plan; focus on community colleges and transfer credits)
2. Overhaul state testing program
3. Change school funding formulas and consolidate the 62 existing categorical programs
4. Teacher recruitment and training
5. Simplify the Education Code and return more decision-making to local school districts
6. A more balanced and creative school curriculum (science, history, and humanities; experiment with online, etc.)
7. Place special emphasis on teaching science, technology, engineering, and math
8. Increase proficiency in English
9. Improve high school graduation rates
10. Charter schools
11. Magnet or theme schools
12. Citizenship and character
Both Whitman and Brown were criticized for negative campaigning during the election. During their final debate at the 2010 Women's Conference a week before the election, moderator Matt Lauer asked both candidates to pull attack ads for the rest of the election, which elicited loud cheers from the audience. Brown agreed and picked one ad each of his and Whitman's that he thought, if Whitman would agree, should be the only ones run, but Whitman, who had been loudly cheered earlier as the prospective first woman governor of the state, was booed when she stated that she would keep "the ads that talk about where Gov. Brown stands on the issues."
The Los Angeles Times reported that nearly $250 million was spent on the Governor's race. At least two spending records were broken during the campaign. Whitman broke personal spending records by spending $140 million of her own money on the campaign, and independent expenditures exceeded $31.7 million, with almost $25 million of that spent in support of Brown.
In an interview with CNN, the reporter opined that Whitman was hurt most during the campaign by a matter involving Nicky Diaz, her former Mexican maid, whom Whitman fired after Diaz asked for help as she was an illegal immigrant.