Meg Whitman holds lunchtime meet and greet at local hot dog stand

Billionaire Meg Whitman mingled with the crowd at Bakersfield's PhillieDog restaurant where she ate a chili dog and talked politics in aneffort to connect with average Californians
Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman mingled with the crowd at Bakersfield's PhillieDog restaurant where she ate a chili dog and talked politics in an effort to connect with average Californians.

"It's a big undertaking," Whitman said of the governor's race, "but it's going really well. We're going to win this."

California's Republican candidate for governor has visited Bakersfield ten times since her campaign started. With election day just over twoweeks away, Whitman is in a tight race with Democratic opponent Jerry Brown. Whitman said she is taking her message to all corners of California.

At PhillieDogs, Whitman ate a chili dog and pushed her agenda, which includes jobs, education and less state spending.

"The Central Valley is a very important part of California. Agriculture and oil production are the backbone of this economy," Whitman said."The big issues here are unemployment, like every other part ofCalifornia, and water, which of course is absolutely essential."

But Whitman said she doesn't support the plans for a high speed rail. She said California can't afford it, although many valley communities are looking to the rail to create jobs. Many supporters at the lunch were concerned, small business owners. Whitman is the former CEO of eBayand has spent more than $120 million of her own money on her campaign.

"She has done a wonderful job in business," Damien Smothers, a Whitman supporter said. "She is really the epitome of a role model for small business owners such as myself."

"We have several businesses and in my opinion, somebody that comes from a business background is better quaified to run the state," said SusieHughes. 

Polls show Whitman and Brown are virtually tied in the race for governor. Most recently, Brown has been criticized after one of his campaign staff called Whitman a whore while Whitman has come under fire for hiring an illegal immigrant housekeeper.
The hot dog eatery had a "Jerry Dog" on the menu, but Whitman didn't order it.
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