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Billionaire Meg Whitman, a Former Gubernatorial Candidate, Backs Antonio Villaraigosa in 2018 Election

Meg Whitman, then CEO of Hewlett Packard, gives a television interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 2, 2015. (Credit: Andrew Burton / Getty Images)

Meg Whitman, then CEO of Hewlett Packard, gives a television interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 2, 2015. (Credit: Andrew Burton / Getty Images)

Republican billionaire Meg Whitman, who spent $144 million of her own money on her unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 2010, is backing Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for governor this year.

Whitman is among the co-hosts of a Silicon Valley fundraiser for the former Los Angeles mayor on Thursday night.

“From her perspective, Antonio’s better on the economy and education than Gavin [Newsom],” the Democratic front-runner in the race, said a source close to Whitman who asked not to be named to speak freely about her position. “While she’s a Republican, she supports the candidate who she thinks is best qualified for the position.”

Tickets for the fundraiser cost from 1,000 to $25,000, according to an invitation obtained by The Times. Other co-hosts include Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, who has donated $7 million to an independent expenditure group supporting Villaraigosa; former state Controller Steve Westly, who spent more than $35 million on his unsuccessful 2006 gubernatorial bid; and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.