[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/06/art.whitman.gi.jpg caption ="Meg Whitman has said that she could contribute up to $150 million in her bid for California governor."](CNN) - Some big bucks and a new name are making headlines in this year's battle for California's governor.
The new name is Peter Schurman, the former founding executive director of MoveOn.org. The San Francisco resident is announcing his candidacy for governor and hopes to challenge Jerry Brown in the state's June primary.
"Our Democratic standard-bearer must take bold stands on the key issues facing California – like closing our budget gap by making corporations, big commercial property owners, and the richest people pay their fair share," says Schurman, in an e-mail release.
Brown, California's attorney general and former two-term governor from 1975-1983, is currently the only major candidate in the running for the Democratic nomination.
Brown campaign press secretary Sterling Clifford tells CNN that the campaign remains very confident that Brown will be his party's nominee for governor.
The big bucks belong to Meg Whitman. The billionaire former CEO of eBay announced Tuesday that she contributed another $20 million to her bid for governor. That brings to $59 million the amount of money Whitman has donated to her campaign. Whitman has said that she could contribute up to $150 million in her bid for California governor.
Whitman, who served as an adviser and surrogate for Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, has used a big chunk of the money to pay for a multi-million dollar television ad campaign across the Golden State. And it may be paying off. A Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll released Monday suggests that Whitman's commercials have helped erase her once unknown status in California. The survey, and two other recent polls of California voters, indicate that Whitman holds a slight lead over Brown in a hypothetical general election matchup. According to those surveys, Whitman holds a large lead over state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the June Republican primary.
Whitman raised more than $10.2 million from outside contributors in 2009 and brought in more than $1.6 million from contributors so far this year, according to her campaign.
"Californians cannot afford more failure in Sacramento. Meg is committed to reaching the millions of voters who can help build A New California," says Whitman campaign manager Jillian Hasner.
California's current governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, is term limited.