GOP candidate Neel Kashkari faces Gov. Jerry Brown

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LOS ANGELES (AP)

Former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari has secured a second-place finish in California’s top-two primary for governor and will face Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in November.

Brown has easily advanced to the general election, setting up a historic bid for his fourth term as California governor.

Brown said he planned to “campaign hard” and take nothing for granted in November. He has amassed more than $21 million in his campaign account but has barely campaigned so far.

Kashkari is a socially moderate former Goldman Sachs investment banker from Orange County. He is making his first run for public office, and is best known for leading the federal government’s recession-era bank bailout.

Preliminary returns showed him advancing early Wednesday.

His chief Republican rival, state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, said he had conceded the race. The ardent gun-rights supporter and former Minuteman border patrol from San Bernardino County appealed to conservatives but struggled to raise funds.

Brown easily took the top spot Tuesday.

It is the first statewide election under California’s new primary system, in which the top two vote-getters advance regardless of party affiliation.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom cruised to victory in yesterday’s primary and will face former California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring in November. With about half the votes counted, the former San Francisco mayor had 52 percent of the votes while Nehring finished a distant second with about 23 percent.

Attorney General Kamala Harris easily prevailed in yesterday’s primary, setting her up to run for a second term in November. Harris, a Democrat, had 54 percent of the votes in early returns. She faced four Republicans, each of whom received less than 14 percent in early returns. Whoever among the four finishes second will face Harris.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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