While Democrats have more than seven months left to choose their candidate for governor, one of the party's key constituencies has already made its preference clear, at least in the all-important money race.
Unions all across the state and country have poured more than a million dollars into Attorney General Jerry Brown's campaign coffers — even though he has yet to officially announce his candidacy.
That includes influential statewide bodies such as the California State Council of Labor and the California Nurses Association as well as out-of-state carpenters unions from New York to Honolulu.
Meanwhile, the only declared Democratic candidate for governor, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, has received just $5,000 from his city's local plumbers and pipefitters union and $130 from two other individuals identified in campaign finance records as having union ties.
The figures do not include contributions of less than $5,000 given after June 30.
That gaping union advantage has not only contributed to Brown's overwhelming financial lead over Newsom but represents a crucial vote of support from one of the Democratic Party's most important groups.
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