SACRAMENTO — California’s colorful and unpredictable governor, Jerry Brown, is preparing to pass another milestone: the state’s longest serving governor.
The Democratic son of former two-term governor Edmund G. Brown will surpass Earl Warren’s 10-year tenure in the office on Monday. Warren served as governor from Jan. 4, 1943 to Oct. 5, 1953, when he resigned to join the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brown, who is now 75, was the second-youngest governor when he first took office at age 36 in 1975.
He served two four-year terms before returning to the office at the age of 72 on Jan. 3, 2011, and he became California’s oldest serving governor a few months into his third term.
The Democrat was able to run again because his first stint as governor came before California’s term limits law, which restricts governors to two terms in office. He is also the only California governor who has been elected to non-consecutive terms as governor.
He is widely expected to seek an unprecedented fourth term next year after winning voter approval for temporary sales and income tax increases last November and a successful budget deal this spring. He has not made a formal announcement.
Brown has generally approached governing from the long view, adopting a pragmatic approach that has at times exasperated members of his own party. At a ceremony Friday honoring the four Democratic and Republican legislative leaders who crafted a budget compromise in 2009 as the state faced a $40 billion shortfall, Brown said true leaders reveal themselves “when a country or state is under siege or great challenge.”
He said this week’s federal government shutdown is “an example of small minds at work.”
When asked about passing his latest milestone, Brown said Friday that he has “no reflections yet.”
After his initial governorship, Brown traveled the world meeting with Mother Theresa in India and studying Zen Buddhism in before serving eight years as mayor of Oakland, then as attorney general from 2006 to 2010.
Monday is also the 10th anniversary of the recall of then-Gov. Gray Davis.