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Jerry Brown's wife, Anne Gust, finds herself in the political spotlight

November 3, 2010 |  4:29 pm

After Gov.-elect Jerry Brown wrapped up his first post-election news  conference Wednesday, TV crews and reporters swarmed California's future first lady, Anne Gust, to discern what role she will play in her husband's administration.

Gust, who played fundraiser and helped manage Brown's gubernatorial campaign, said she hadn't figured out how she would fit in yet.

"I know my role will be unpaid, whatever it is," she told reporters. "But I assume I’ll continue to advise him and help him in whatever way is best, that he feels best."

She has been a key political confidant and advisor to Brown since her departure five years ago from Gap Inc., where she served first as general counsel to the clothing retailer and then chief administrative officer.

She managed Brown's campaign for attorney general in 2006 and made the transition into a de facto chief of staff in that office for Brown's first two years.

On Tuesday night, before delivering his victory speech, Brown called his wife "the most important person of all, who really ran the whole show and kept me on track. I don’t need a plan when I have such a good planner at my side all the time."

On Wednesday, Gust  said she enjoys working in government. "Government involves such important issues," she said of her time in the attorney general's office. "Almost everything we dealt with was in the paper every day and very important to California. So it’s very inspiring that way when you wake up every day and know you’re really dealing with important issues."

Asked whether she would advocate for any particular causes, Gust said, "There’s a lot of important issues that will face California, and wherever I can be most helpful is where I’d like to be."

-- Michael J. Mishak in Oakland

RELATED: Anne Gust plays a critical role in Jerry Brown's campaign, insiders say