For months, Jerry Brown's campaign has been all but dormant; very few events, no TV ads. Now the Democrat says that's changing.
"We're going to win this thing, we're just starting. Today's the election. Today's the start of the election, the campaign. I feel very confident. I'm enthused with your enthusiasm and spread that word, all over California."
That's Brown addressing a crowd of more than 100 at a Sacramento Labor Day picnic organized by unions, one of several similar events he attended around the state. Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation introduced the candidate:
"Jerry Brown is going to help us re-create the California Dream. Say it again, Jerry Brown, Jerry Brown….fade out"
Brown was quick to criticize his GOP rival:
"California's not a logo to be rebranded by Meg Whitman"
The former eBay CEO has already spent more than 100 million dollars - most of it her own money. Brown puts his first ad on the air this week, highlighting his tenure as Governor three decades ago. Staffers estimate Brown will spend at least 35 million dollars on his campaign. Whitman staffer Darrel Ng says it's not a level playing field:
"Jerry Brown has spent 40 years in politics and has 100% name ID. In a state where Democrats have a registration advantage, Republicans are at a disadvantage, so in order to get Meg Whitman's message out, she needs to have a campaign that can reach that many voters."
Ng also points out that unions are spending millions to help elect Brown, which adds to his war chest. But despite the huge financial differences between the two campaigns, most polls show it is still anyone's race - and a lot can change in two months.