Chris Kelly, the Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook, has invested $2 million of his own money in his race to become the California Attorney General. In December of 2008, rumors began circulating that Kelly would run for Attorney General. By April of last year, it had become official. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Kelly had to make the cash drop to stand out from a Democratic field full of people with name recognition.”
While I haven’t heard of any of the other competitors, Kelly is clearly taking this campaign seriously. So where did Kelly come up with the cash to fund his campaign? Facebook shares of course! According to the Chronicle, he was one of the first two dozen employees at the company. If Kelly had 500,000 shares (a fraction of the approximately 312 million shares outstanding), he’d be worth around $12.5 million based on the latest Facebook valuation. While 500,000 shares is pure speculation, and we have no idea how many shares Kelly has, the point is that he’d be in a good position to bet $2 million on his Attorney General race.
Kamala Harris, the current District Attorney of San Francisco appears to be one of the favorites among celebrities, with donations from Bill Maher, David Geffen, and Aaron Sorkin, the author of the highly gossiped Facebook novel “Accidental Billionaires“. With $2 million for his campaign, one has to wonder if Kelly will be investing in a significant Facebook ad campaign among California voting constituents to promote his campaign Facebook Page which now has over 2,700 fans.
The campaign will most definitely be competitive so we’ll definitely be interested to see if Kelly’s $2 million bet pans out!