Less than 18 months ago, Meg Whitman began her race for the governor's office as a political blank slate.
The 52-year-old had never held elected office before and wasn't connected to any cause. In fact, she had rarely voted in her adult life.
That didn't stop Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of online auction firm eBay, from vanquishing Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on Tuesday night to win the Republican nomination for governor.
She and U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina made history by becoming the first women to win the California Republican Party's nomination to the state's highest elected offices.
She told supporters that Sacramento politicians now face their worst nightmare: "Two businesswomen who know how to create jobs, balance budgets and get things done."
Democrat Jerry Brown, who easily won his party's nomination for governor, reminded his backers that "I've done this before."
"If we pull together we can fix things," he said. "I know how Sacramento works, and more importantly, I know how it should work."
Whitman entered the race promising to spend as much as $150 million of her own money on her campaign. By primary day, she had put in $71 million and raised an additional $16 million.
According to her top consultants and others, she pulled it off with a potent mix of money and marketing, carefully crafting her message and rolling it out in an advertising blitz of a size never seen before in the state.
She also turned her inexperience into an asset, introducing herself to voters as a fresh face without a record her opponents could criticize.
To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.