He takes credit for helping build a social-networking company from 2.5 million to 400 million users.
He argues voters this year will like his outsider profile as he seeks his party's nomination.
He has already put millions of his own money into the race and says he can afford to self-finance a general election campaign.
But Chris Kelly, who has left his job at Facebook to run for state attorney general, insists there are plenty of differences between him and GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman — another high-tech exec with plenty of money and little political experience.
"Yes, I am a technology executive, but I'm a Democrat and I vote," Kelly tells audiences in a reference to Whitman's sparse voting history.
Kelly, in a Wednesday interview with The Bee's Capitol Bureau, said he doesn't think voters will hold it against either of them that they are wealthy enough to spend their own money on their campaigns.
"Voters aren't going to turn against Meg because she's spending her own money on this race," he said. "They're going to turn against her because she has retrograde views on civil rights and the environment."
Kelly said he sees gay marriage as the "leading civil rights issue of our era" and would not defend Proposition 8, which Whitman supports, in federal court.
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