State

Kicking off the Governor's race

With results still fresh from the primary, Democratic nominee Jerry Brown wasted no time Wednesday launching the next phase of his campaign for governor by challenging Republican billionaire Meg Whitman to 10 town hall debates.

Speaking at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, Brown said town hall exchanges would bring variety to a contest that has been dominated so far by Whitman's scripted TV and radio ads.

"Let's go to the people of California and have an unscripted exchange about the issues that we face," said Brown, 72. "These are tough issues, there's not a quick solution around the corner here."

Brown's fund raising has been no match for Whitman's wealth, so the debates could provide inexpensive exposure for the Democrat.

Whitman countered by demanding that Brown provide his vision for the nation's most populous state. She reminded reporters that she has released a 48-page policy book detailing her proposals.

"So I would call on Jerry Brown to lay out a plan for California, then at least we'll have something to debate about," Whitman said during an appearance in Orange County.

Whitman, 53, a former eBay chief executive, has sunk $71 million of her own money into her campaign.

Brown, was unchallenged in the primary and has spent about $400,000 this year. He has

$20.6 million in cash on hand and will enjoy the backing of organized labor.

— The Associated Press

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