Brown Readies to Carry Democratic Fight for GovernorshipJerry Brown

by Dan Aiello

At the end of an unopposed primary race, the elder statesman of California's Democratic party, former governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown, accepted his party's gubernatorial nomination Tuesday night with personal reflection and political guile that long-time political observers called 'vintage' Brown.

"I'm here as the Democratic candidate for governor," Brown told supporters. "But I'm also here as a Californian that's disgusted with the awful mess in Sacramento, and the politicians and the Wall Street bankers that got us there."

The 72-year old Brown told supporters he struggled with the decision to run again for the office he left 27 years earlier. "I would like to speak from my heart for a moment," Brown told his audience. "Honestly, the last thing on my mind at this stage of my life was running for governor of California."

Brown, the California native whose education included study for priesthood at a Jesuit seminary before attending Yale law school, told supporters, "I reflected a long time on whether this was the right path, but I looked at the partisan gridlock in Sacramento and the truth is I believe I can fix this," said Brown. "Not overnight, it took too long to get here, but i believe when we pull together we can fix things and fix it we will I have no doubt with your help that's what we can accomplish."

In his speech, Brown emphasized his desire to restore California's education system, which has been crippled by the state's current budget woes.

"Our education system is the engine of our economy," Brown told supporters. California's public education system ranked as the nation's best under Brown's tenure, but last year was ranked 47th in the nation in per-pupil spending.

Brown will face the formidable resources of former EBay ceo and New York-native, billionaire Meg Whitman.

The Sacramento Bee's Dan Morain noted that $90 million dollars spent by Whitman to win a bruising primary race with Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner left the victor bruised, polling less favorably than before the race began.

Whitman has stated she was willing to spend "up to $150 million" to become governor of her adopted state of California.

Morain noted that In California, Republicans starts at a statistical disadvantage, with GOP registration approximately 30.8 percent of the electorate, roughly 5.2 million of nearly 17 million registered voters.

Morain believes Whitman "will dive into the general campaign sooner rather than later. She will hope moderate voters will forget that Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich endorsed her. She'll attempt to court latino voters and attack Brown," wrote Morain.

Poizner forced Whitman to the right during the primary, with Whitman declaring "absolutely no amnesty," for illegal immigrants. That, and Whitman's endorsement by California's anti-immigrant proposition 187 governor, Pete Wilson, will make it more difficult for Whitman to woo California's latino voters.

Last year, Whitman voiced her support for Prop 8, the anti-marriage equality initiative, freeing Brown from any serious challenge for California's LGBT vote, despite Brown's initial wavering on the issue.

"Everything masquerading as analysis comes down to this: Meg Whitman is crazy rich; Jerry Brown is very well-known. Which one matters more?" asked Sterling Clifforrd, Brown's press secretary.

"There is a lot about Jerry Brown that people don't know," Morain quoted Whitman strategist Mike Murphy Tuesday, before the polls closed.

Dan Aiello is a Sacramento freelance writer for Outowrd, as well as the Bay Area Reporter and

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