In the move that could add gravitas to the campaign,  Buffett, who is chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.,will help Schwarzenegger assemble top experts to advise him on the economy, a campaign official said.

   

"I have known Arnold for years and know he'll be a great governor," Buffett, one of the best-known and most respected investors in the US, said in a statement. "It is critical to the rest of the nation that California's economic crisis be solved, and I think Arnold will get that job done."    

 

Team in place 

   

After a blast of publicity following his surprise announcement on contesting the poll actor Schwarzenegger has in recent days concentrated on putting together his team, many of whom are veterans of former Republican Governor Pete Wilson's administration.

   

"It is critical to the rest of the nation that California's economic crisis be solved, and I think Arnold will get that job done." 

-- Investor Warren Buffett

Schwarzenegger "has been meeting with advisers, talking with individuals who will be joining his campaign and laying out goals and priorities for his proposals he will be laying out as the campaign moves forward," spokesman Sean Walsh said.

   

Earlier on Wednesday, media reports that Schwarzenegger had "shaken up" his campaign team was denied by Walsh.

 

"We are simply adding people to this campaign to make sure this campaign can operate as fully and as effectively as possible. There is no staff shake up, there is just the addition of people to make sure this campaign is world class."

 

Responding to criticism that the star of the "Terminator" films has avoided taking positions on tough issues, Walsh said Schwarzenegger would detail his proposals in the coming weeks.

 

Democrat Gray Davis, unpopular because of the state's record budget deficit, faces the first recall vote against a California governor in the state's history on 7 October.

 

Should voters recall him, the alternative candidate with the most votes will take over the richest state in the United States.