SACRAMENTO, Calif. – State Controller Steve Westly (search) used the Internet to launch his campaign for governor Saturday, becoming the second Democrat to enter the race in hopes of unseating Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) if he seeks re-election next year.
The former Silicon Valley executive announced his candidacy during an online chat and conference call with supporters, pledging to create an innovative government to return prosperity to the state.
"Today that dream is fading," he said. "I'm running for governor to restore that dream."
Westly, 47, joins the race for the Democratic nomination against Treasurer Phil Angelides (search), who announced he was running in March. The governor has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election.
Westly, who earned a fortune at the online auction house eBay, wrote a $10 million check to his gubernatorial account last month and has said he would spend more of his own money if necessary.
Angelides had raised $12 million by April and rounded up a long list of endorsements.
Westly emphasized that he would run a positive campaign, but he slipped in a few digs at the actor-turned-governor, saying he was running on his record, "not my one-liners."
"We don't need someone who acts like an innovator; we need a governor who is one," Westly said.
Karen Hanretty, a spokeswoman for the California Republican Party, referred to Westly as "Schwarzenegger lite" because he has told Democrats they cannot raise taxes and his social views are in line with the governor's.
"The difference between the two is that Schwarzenegger has a record of leadership in the executive office of California, and Steve Westly has very little to show for himself," Hanretty said.