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Jerry Brown projected winner in California governor's race

November 2, 2010 |  8:08 pm

With the polls now closed in California, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown is projected to become the next governor of California, based on exit poll results. Brown, who had previously served as California's youngest governor since the 1850s, became the oldest Californian ever elected to the post Tuesday, winning a decisive victory over Republican Meg Whitman.

 Brown was elected after the most expensive governor's race in California history.  Whitman spent more than $160 million during her campaign,  including $141.5 million of her own money, shattering national records for individual spending on a political campaign. Brown raised more than $32 million for his campaign, and labor unions and other groups spent an additional $25 million on Brown's behalf.

The former governor told voters throughout the campaign that he had the experience needed to lead the state out of its dire fiscal situation. He vowed to gather lawmakers later this month to begin tackling the state's budget deficit, which is already estimated at more than $20 billion for the next fiscal year.

Since last being elected governor in 1978, Brown has run for president twice, in 1980 and 1992, and for U.S. Senate in 1982. Brown also served as chairman of the state Democratic Party, Oakland mayor from 1996 to 2004, and the state's attorney general since 2006.

Brown, 72, will be sworn in for his third term as California governor on Jan. 3. He was first elected governor in 1974 at age of 36.

In 1990, California voters passed a law limiting governors and other statewide elected officials to two four-year terms. Brown's prior service was not counted under the term-limits law, however, because he served his terms before the law was passed.


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Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images