California state treasurer Phil Angelides is to challenge incumbent governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the November general election after marginally wining the primary election for Democratic nomination for governor.
Angelides, 52, won 47.9 percent of the votes cast by Democrats in the primary election held Tuesday, compared to 43.4 percent for his main rival Steve Westly, the 49-year-old state controller and a former eBay executive, according to final election results released Wednesday.
Angelides will now move on to challenge Arnold Schwarzenegger, who received 89.9 percent of the vote. None of his three Republican primary challengers received more than 3.6 percent.
The Angelides campaign made its first general election efforts early Wednesday morning just after the results came out, sending an e-mail to supporters asking for donations.
``We will need to raise an unprecedented amount of money to defeat Governor Schwarzenegger,'' Angelides wrote.
In his bid for the nomination, Angelides had support of party stalwarts, including California's two senators -- Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.
``I believe we can give hard-working families a chance to climb the ladder of opportunity,'' Angelides reportedly told supporters Tuesday night in Sacramento, the state capital.
He said if elected he would give California children the best education in the world and could count on to stand up for hard- working Californians and to build the future of the state.
The Democratic primary was particularly contentious as both candidates relied on negative television advertising, each challenging the integrity of the other.
The internecine warfare gave Schwarzenegger, who faced no real opposition in his primary race, the opportunity to rise above the fray.
A recent poll of 702 voters likely to vote in the November general election showed Schwarzenegger led Angelides by 46 percent to 39 percent.
Schwarzenegger is scheduled to begin his campaign Wednesday in three Northern California cities, as the governor will be walking down the sidewalks, poking his head into businesses, shaking hands, and talking to California voters, said a campaign spokesman.