The effort to fight a recall of California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has raised roughly $83 million, a number that dwarfs the fundraising of the governor's most formidable GOP rival, radio host Larry Elder.
While a major share of Newsom's haul came from groups one might expect – such as the Democratic Party, unions and Planned Parenthood – the governor enjoyed a boost from some big names in the business world who pitched in to keep him in office.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings led the charge with a $3 million contribution, while billionaire investor and major left-wing donor George Soros pitched in a cool $1 million. Priscilla Chan, wife of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, gave another $750,000.
Businesses with household names that contributed include Uber, Walgreens, NBC Universal, and Inbev-owned Anheuser-Busch, each of which gave $50,000. Airbnb and Anthem Blue Cross both handed over $100,000 a piece. Warner Bros. wrote a check for $40,000 to help keep Newsom in the governor's mansion, and AT&T kicked in $10,000.
The embattled governor was hit with intense backlash for violating his own strict statewide COVID-19 policies last year, when he was busted attending a large dinner party at renowned Napa Valley eatery The French Laundry. Newsom, who owns wineries and shops, also enjoyed contributions from his industry brethren to fight his recall, with a $250,000 donation from the American Beverage Association of California PAC and another $25,000 from the California Beer & Beverage Distributors State Issues PAC.
Meanwhile, Elder's donations came in at around $13.8 million for his efforts to replace Newsom as deep blue California's governor, and the general recall effort raised around $45 million. Polls for the recall close at 8 p.m.