Brown wins historic 4th term as governor of California


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On Tuesday, Jerry Brown won a historic fourth term as governor of California, decisively beating Republican opponent Neel Kashkari.

Brown, a Democrat, served two consecutive terms as governor when elected in 1974. He also previously served as mayor of Oakland and as California attorney general.

Brown focused much of his campaign on rallying support for two ballot measures, Propositions 1 and 2.

Campus response to Brown’s re-election was generally positive, though some expressed concern with how the governor would address higher education issues in his final term.

Stephen Rosenbaum, a campus lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Law, said that although he is pleased with what the governor did for primary and secondary education, higher education “needs all the funds it can get.”

Brown made a deal with the University of California in which he agreed to 4- to 5-percent annual increases in state funding each year in exchange for a tuition freeze until 2016-17, though he cautioned the university that it needs to change its long-term approach to financial planning. The UC Board of Regents currently faces a $125 million shortfall in funds.

“I think Gov. Brown will carry out the same policies he’s been carrying out before with respect to the university, which is to say we should all tighten our belts and do more with less,” said George Lakoff, a campus linguistics professor.

Others say Brown has made his stances clear enough. Jack Citrin, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies, said Brown advocates fiscal restraint when it comes to the university.

Though Brown campaigned little during the election, Brendan Pinder, executive director of Berkeley College Republicans, said Brown’s success was “not so much a testament to his party but in spite of it.“

“Rather, his popularity is due to his willingness to stand against some of the left wing’s most harmful extravagances and his moderate fiscal conservatism,” Pinder said in a text message. “Traits his party contemporaries would do well to emulate.”

Contact Isaac Smith at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @IsaacGSmith.