Brown is California governor, at least temporarily

Chris Rizo Jan. 20, 2010, 1:13pm

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-Jerry Brown is governor of California again, at least for a short time.

Brown -- the state's Democratic attorney general, former governor, and likely gubernatorial candidate this year -- is the Golden State's acting governor because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature's leaders are in Washington.

The group is on Capitol Hill seeking federal funding to help the state make ends meet amid a projected $20 billion shortfall -- $6.6 billion in the current fiscal year and $13.3 billion in the 12 months beginning July 1.

In the District of Columbia with the Republican governor are those who would follow him in succession. Since the state has no lieutenant governor, the next in line is the Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and after him is Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, and they are both in Washington.

Then there is Secretary of State Debra Bowen, but the Democrat is out of the state on a family matter. So that leaves Brown as the next-in-line, Capitol Weekly noted Wednesday.

Brown, a former two-term governor, is the only Democrat openly considering a run to succeed Schwarzenegger next year. California governor from 1975 to 1983, Brown may seek another two terms as the state's chief executive because he led California before term limits were enacted.

He was the mayor of Oakland, Calif., from 1998 to 2006, before being elected as the state's chief legal officer in 2007. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nominations for U.S. president in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders are expected to return to California Thursday.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

More News