Jerry Brown cruises to win

November 3, 2010

By Seema Mehta and Michael J. Mishak, Los Angeles Times

The Republican wave crashing across the nation stopped at the California border on Tuesday, as Jerry Brown won the governorship and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer claimed a victory that would send her back to Washington for a fourth term.

The veteran politicians, Democratic icons for decades, jumped out to early leads over wealthy former corporate chiefs Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, who were making their first forays into public life, trying to ride into office on national sourness about incumbents, the economy andPresident Obama‘s administration.

Brown, the state’s current attorney general and its governor from 1975 to 1983, claimed victory at a boisterous rally in front of thousands at the Fox Theater in Oakland..

“It looks like I’m going back again,” Brown said. “As you know, I’ve got the know-how and the experience. This time, we have a first lady, which we didn’t have last time.”

He called for an end to the divisiveness that has torn Sacramento and Washington, D.C, and proclaimed that it was time for California to become a leader in renewable energy and education. He said he chose the theater for his victory party because it, too, underwent a renaissance after 30 years.

“I take as my challenge forging a common purpose, but a common purpose based not just on compromise but based on a vision of what California can be,” Brown said.

Whitman, who shattered spending records with her largely self-funded campaign, spoke about a half hour after Brown, and said she was proud of the campaign she had run.

“Tonight has not turned out quite as we had hoped,” she told supporters gathered in Universal City. “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.”

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