Gov. Jerry Brown will be sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term in January, with optimism over the next four years, thanks in part to the passage of two ballot measures he championed.
“The world looks pretty troubled out there,” Brown told reporters Tuesday night in front of the historic Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento, where no governor has lived since Ronald Reagan in 1967, his first year in office.
“The country is facing a lot of uncertainty, but here in California, where once they called this a failed state, we’re now showing the way. We’re showing the way in our commitment to building an adequate water supply, building a rainy day fund, living within our means and doing the kind of things that a great state should do and certainly can do.”
Brown, a Democrat, defeated Republican Neel Kashkari, 58.7 percent-41.3 percent in Tuesday’s election, according to semiofficial results released by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Brown did little campaigning on behalf of his re-election, concentrating instead on trying to win passage of Propositions 1 and 2, the water bond and “rainy day” measures on Tuesday’s ballot.
“Proposition 1 is going to help us make some key investments to strengthen our water reliability and make sure the people in the Central Valley who have to use buckets to take a shower get can water out of their taps,” Brown said.
“Proposition 2… tells us save money, create a reserve, don’t spend it all now.”
Brown added that the state government would “invest continuously in our schools, in a better criminal justice system and in our infrastructure.”
“The key for the next four years is to make the government do what it’s supposed to,” Brown said. “It’s not about any highfalutin ideas; it’s about making work what we’re going to set out.”
Only one other California governor, Earl Warren, was elected to three terms. Brown’s father, Edmund G. (Pat) Brown Sr., sought a third term in 1966 but lost to Ronald Reagan.
The 76-year-old Brown called being elected to a fourth term “pretty neat.”
“Since I’ve done it three times, I’m not under any illusions that this is some kind of picnic. California is divided. Modoc (County on the state’s northeastern border) doesn’t see the world like Berkeley and Berkeley doesn’t see the world like Orange County.”
This was the seventh time Brown has run for statewide office. He has lost just once, falling to Pete Wilson in a 1982 bid for a U.S. Senate seat.
Brown was first elected governor in 1974 when Kashkari was 15 months old.
Brown’s first two terms as governor did not fall under California’s term limits law, which was approved by voters in 1990 and only covered elections from that point.
Kashkari told supporters at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa that his campaign “was always about blazing a trail for future Republicans to succeed in California.”
“We have begun the process of rebuilding our party, and now it’s up to all of us to build on the foundation we have laid,” said Kashkari, a former Treasury Department official who was making his first run for office.
“I am thankful for all the support I received and am absolutely committed to continuing our fight to move our party and our state forward.”
Kashkari said he was “incredibly proud of our campaign and what we accomplished to help our party.”
“It won’t happen overnight, but we have laid the groundwork for a Republican comeback in California,” Kashkari said. “We ran an inclusive campaign that reached out to all Californians and showed voters that we are the party that fights for everyone — no matter what neighborhood they come from.
“Everyone I talked to throughout this campaign wanted the same thing — a good job and a quality education for their kids. We showed that these issues cut across political, racial, and geographic boundaries and we put them at the forefront of the discussion across the state.”