SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Democrat Jerry Brown officially entered the California governor's race yesterday, giving the party an iconic candidate in a contest expected to be the most costly in state history.
The state attorney general, who served two terms as governor in the era before term limits, declared his candidacy on his Web site. The announcement has been expected for months, as Brown quietly raised millions.
Brown, who will turn 72 next month, is the only serious Democratic contender. His ability to raise money and gain endorsements frightened away other Democrats, including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
After the June primary, Brown will face one of two Silicon Valley Republicans in the general election: former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, a billionaire, or state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who also became a multimillionaire as a high-tech entrepreneur.
Brown was elected secretary of state in 1970. He won the first of his two terms as governor in 1974, becoming the state's youngest chief executive at age 36.
His father, Edmund G. Brown, served two terms as governor starting in 1959. His sister, Kathleen, served one term as state treasurer in the 1990s.
He served two terms as mayor of Oakland. - AP