Business Leaders Find Success as GOP Candidates Rich ex-execs present Tea Party alternative By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Mar 29, 2010 4:22 PM CDT 9 comments Comments Republican gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman speaks at the California Taxpayers' Association annual meeting in Sacramento, Calif. on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) (Newser) – Business leaders crossing over to politics are finding success as GOP candidates, using their experience and personal fortunes to challenge established Republicans in Senate and gubernatorial races. In California, Meg Whitman has earmarked $39 million for her campaign for governor. In Michigan, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, former executives are making waves in local contests, setting up viable conservative alternative to the Tea Party. The former executives have no great love for the Tea Party, but they aren't any kinder to their more mainstream rivals, the Washington Post reports. "The professional politicians have been fighting in Sacramento for years," Whitman says in one campaign ad. "I think a business perspective is a bit of what California needs right now."