OAKLAND (CBS 5 / AP) — Democrat Jerry Brown was elected California governor on Tuesday in an extraordinary political encore, defeating billionaire Republican Meg Whitman and the $142 million she spent of her own fortune as he reclaimed the office he held a generation ago.

KCBS: Meg Whitman Concession Speech:

The victory by the 72-year-old state attorney general leaves him with the enormous task of lifting the state out of a recession and driving down a persistently high jobless rate. The former Jesuit seminary student said he would be up to it.

“I still carry with me my sense of that kind of missionary zeal to transform the world,” he said. “And I’m hoping and I’m praying that the breakdown that’s gone on for so many years in the state Capital—and we’re watching it in Washington—the breakdown paves the way for a breakthrough.”

Brown was California’s 34th governor during his previous tenure from 1975 to 1983, and now becomes its 39th.

“It looks like I’m going back again,” Brown said as he took the stage at the historic Fox Theater in Oakland to chants of “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry.”

Whitman conceded and said she called Brown to wish him well.

“Tonight has not turned out quite as we had hoped. We’ve come

up a little short, but certainly not for lack of hard work, determination and a clear vision for making our state better,” she told supporters at Universal City near Los Angeles. “We overcame great obstacles to get this far, and I could not be any prouder of the race we have ran. And I gave it my all, and so did you.”

Brown’s victory over the former eBay chief executive brought the office back under Democratic control. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s term will end in January after a little more than seven years in office.

Schwarzenegger congratulated Brown in a statement and praised him for his “lifetime of public service.” He pledged to work with Brown for a smooth transition.

The son of a former two-term governor, Brown has spent a lifetime in and out of politics that began when he was seated on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees in 1969.

As the campaign entered its final days, Brown promoted his deep ties in California, with family roots stretching to the Gold Rush era, presenting an image of a native son deeply connected to the place he will oversee for a second time.

His win over Whitman in a governor’s race that set a campaign spending record came in a year when Republicans appeared to have the edge and were expected to win a majority of governor’s seats across the country. Including contributions from others, Whitman’s total spending was expected to exceed $162 million.

Brown, who has run for president three times and lost a run for U.S. Senate, returns to the governor’s office as a more mature but still unconventional politician, one who often speaks his mind and rarely relies on a script or notes when he goes before a crowd.

The campaign for governor turned increasingly negative in the final weeks, when the airwaves were filled with attack ads.

Whitman’s campaign was knocked off message when it was revealed that she had employed an illegal immigrant housekeeper for nine years, undermining her warnings that employers should be held responsible and fined if they hire illegal workers.

Brown faced his own controversy after a Los Angeles police union released an audio tape of a private conservation between Brown and his campaign staffers. A female aide was overheard calling Whitman a “whore” for currying favor with the union to win its endorsement.

The controversies at times overshadowed debates on more substantive issues such as job creation, the budget deficit, college costs and public education.

Brown’s prize for returning to the Capitol is trying to lead the troubled state out of high unemployment, a stagnant economy and political gridlock. He is expected to face a multibillion dollar budget deficit and has said he will start meeting with lawmakers as soon as December to find solutions.

Successive years of steep deficits have left the state’s general fund with $15 billion less than it had just three years ago, leading to severe cuts in many state programs and higher costs for college and university students.

When he is sworn in this January, Brown will be the second oldest governor to hold the office, after Gov. Frank Merriam, who turned 74 during his final weeks in office in 1939. Brown will be 76 at the end of his term in 2014.

Brown was eligible to run because his previous stint as governor came before voters enacted term limits.

Only one other California governor has served three terms, Republican Earl Warren, who became the 14th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Warren resigned the governor’s office with a little more than a year left in his final term.

Brown’s father, Gov. Pat Brown, lost his 1966 re-election attempt for a third term to Ronald Reagan.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (28)
  1. California Jobs says:

    California had a chance to look forward with a Governor that was committed to enabling a business friendly environment to create jobs and put people back to work. California will remain a non-business friendly state, and lag behind the rest of the nation in the jobs recovery.

    1. Really?!? says:

      Ha ha ha… so says the losing Republican…

      1. td says:

        Yeah California Jobs is soo right!!
        Captain Moonbeam is on another failed journey.. He was and is still a looser.
        Did a great job as Attorney General too… One day maybe California may wake up and realize retreads are retreads and these old geezer is a RETREAD..
        Go home and listen to Linda Ronstad and smoke another doobie.. Captain

    2. davey says:

      60% of the people work for the government. They don’t care.

  2. charles says:

    Yea!!! Bye Terminator!!! Won’t miss you…Thanks for messing up the state of California….Now GO!!!

    1. bigg3469 says:

      AMEN TO THAT!!!!!

  3. Roxan says:


    Where were the CA politicians of EITHER PARTY? Out to Lunch? Asleep at the wheel? On the planet Mars?

    Here, our economy is hurting and BOTH parties continue to keep ignoring the corporations who offshore, outsource, etc.

    This is inexusable and here , we get Jerry Brown again.

    1. susan says:

      Should California compete with Vietnam for jobs? If so, there are plenty of farm labor jobs available now so go ahead and fill them with the currently unemployed. This will also solve the immigration problem.

  4. Garrett2012 says:

    California is now on a path of recovery and moving forward. Big business doesn’t belong in government….at all!!! If one were to disagree, they’re more than likely a CEO. Meg must’ve made the first comment.

    1. td says:

      It is called knowing what to do, instead of the same ol’ same thing ..
      This bum had a chance and blew it all through 40 years of failure and never having a REAL Job. . And now e get another shot at Captain Moonbeam..
      GOOD LUCK California..

      1. bigg3469 says:

        So did George Dukmajianand Pete Wilson (who was the most racist governor in California’s history) those bums did not do diddly squat as well! I’m glad Jerry’s back!

  5. Bonzo4Prez says:

    It would be nice if all the angry right-winger people of California would simply move to Arizona. Accept it, that is where you belong.

    1. NoBama says:

      Yes, I agree, Bozo, we need two different nations, you Leftinistas can have Kalifornia and we will take the rest of the nation. And all your Leftinista comrades in Arizona and elsewhere will have to come back here. But in the meantime I’m staying here to sabotage your little dictator state until the civil war begins.Fair enough?

      1. bigg3469 says:

        Wait until 2012 when Americans finally realize that the “Tea party Movement” was the most embarrassing event in American History.

      2. treadsomewherelseplease says:

        you might be surprised at how many people in California would like nothing better than to be a separate country. Most people in other parts of the country seem very unaware that we Calis don’t want to be dragged back into the last century by red-state America. If Cali was a separate nation, we’d actually have the 8th largest economy in the world. We’re a pacific rim state that trades as much with other nations as we do other states. In other words, we don’t need y’all really. We pay more in taxes to the feds than almost any other state yet we get less back from them in services than many other “welfare” states (read red-state states that claim to not be welfare states). So, please, support a national referendum to make California a separate country. Yes, do it, finally something we can agree on?

  6. 1776 says:

    Poverty? You can’t run, you can’t hide, it’s every where. It doesn’t matter who you think you are. You’re a slave to a master economic plan…. the architects?…. The Bilderberg Group. The answer to 1984 is 1776.

  7. BobbyJWoo says:

    He destryed Cally when I was a Kid, now a second chance as I am…..Blessed to become 40, n surive him as he tore Oakland apart…..The New World O..is so real and he is a member…GOD bless us all….This world is like a Movie it is Written and acted out………….1776 ur dead on

  8. NoBama says:

    Right on ,Tea, that’s pretty much my plan,,that’s why I would never open a business in this rotten state, either. Idaho is a great state. Keep these liberal Kalifornians out of there because you know that they are eyeing it as to how they can go there and turn it into another Kalifornia. Just like they are doing with Arizona.

  9. GoooOOO Team Troglodyte! says:

    No..Bama… NoBama… OOHH!! I see what you did there. “No” + “Obama”. That’s so clever! How’s that working out for you? Must be great.

    You’re really on a roll there. Spelling “California” with a “K”, to symbolize… I don’t know what exactly. Maybe Germans, by which you mean Nazis, or maybe Russians. I don’t think you know either. But both of those are bad right? So cleverly associating California with them must be good.

    Well, then. Good job! Gold star for you!

  10. Sysiphus74 says:

    Jerry Brown ? Barbara Boxer ? Are you kidding me ? Under liberal leadership, your state is ready to collapse and you bring back some of the biggest participants in your destruction ? Well you’ve made your bed, now sleep in it. Don’t come to us with your hands out looking for the rest of the country to fix your stupidity.

    1. td says:

      All these Dems are DUMBASOHOES’s Figure it out if you can DEMS..

    2. John Smith says:

      Under Jerry Brown, California prospered, with excellent schools and a robust economy.

      Yes, I want more of that.

      Regarding Boxer, I agree she’s incompetent, but the Republicans keep nominating stupid right wing nut jobs, and they can’t seem to realize that they need some one who is ELECTABLE, not someone who is ideologically pure.

      Both the candidates who ran against her were ideologically pure (Hersesohn six years ago and Fiorina now), but neither had any experience, skill or credibility.

      Tom Campbell, a moderate Republican with ample political credentials, lost the Republican Primary to Fiorina, but he could have WON the general election if the Republicans hadn’t been so STUPID.

  11. NA says:

    Don’t worry. Within a year, Brown will be a failure and Sylvester Stallone will run to recall Brown.

  12. davey says:

    I would go to, but my dumb ass wife loves California. As I sit and watch my hard earn wealth melt away.

  13. John Smith says:

    This text news article is a lot better than either the Mercury OR the chronicle have up on their pages. Maybe the web isn’t such a bad place to get news after alll

  14. Martin T says:

    California you get what you deserve. I had the foresight to see this train wreck coming and moved my business’s( that employed some 300 people) to a business friendly state. The only thing Sacramento can do well is kill jobs! Keep the same old retreads in office so I get too prosper and laugh from the sidelines.

  15. bigg3469 says:

    You can’t even spell CALIFORNIA right! Besides it was Reagan,Dukemamajin,Wilson who got US into this mess as well as the idiotic recall election that coated Gray Davis the governorship.

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