OAKLAND, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown filed his papers yesterday to run for an unprecedented fourth term as California’s governor, but declined to say that this would be his last campaign.
Asked by reporters outside the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Office if this was his last hurrah, Brown, 75, said: “I certainly enjoyed being mayor of Oakland.”
He was Oakland’s mayor from 1999 to 2007 and California’s attorney general from 2007 to 2011, when he was sworn in for his third term as governor.
Brown noted that he and his wife were at Oakland City Hall on Thursday to collect petition signatures for his gubernatorial re-election campaign.
“It sounded like a very exciting place to be,” the governor said, recalling his decision 15 years ago to run for Oakland mayor.
For now, however, Brown said he’s seeking re-election as governor “with humility and the realization that there’s a great responsibility in the work that lies ahead.” He said he intends to focus this year — and if re-elected to his fourth term — on maintaining a balanced budget with fiscal restraint and a healthy reserve fund.
“I am going to keep my eye on the ball and not repeat history,” he said, citing previous governors who left office while the state’s budget was in deficit. “Frankly, I like the work. I understand it. ... I can make a contribution over the next four years.”
He also said implementing the new local control funding formula for California’s K-12 schools will be a priority, as will continuing to oversee the public-safety realignment that has transferred some responsibilities to counties to relieve pressure on overcrowded state prisons.
Asked about Republican challenger Neel Kashkari’s campaign focus on jobs and education, Brown noted that the state has raised its minimum wage, expanded vocational education opportunities and created about a million jobs on his watch.