The governor’s race was called as soon as polls closed Tuesday, and within an hour Republican Neel Kashkari had conceded. Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, holding hands, came walking down from the historic governor’s mansion to a bank of reporters at the fence.
Brown, who became the only California governor elected to four terms, called the occasion a “gift” and promised “to do my very best.”
The occasion, which caused a few bewildered passers-by to pause on a dimly lit sidewalk outside the mansion in Sacramento, was in contrast to the confetti-filled stage Brown took when he declared victory four years ago. That year, Brown beat Republican Meg Whitman in a blockbuster campaign.
This year, it was never even close. After Kashkari, in his concession speech in Orange County, challenged Brown to “please be bold” in his final four years in office, Brown scoffed, “Being where I am tonight is extremely bold. I didn’t get here by being pusillanimous.”
Vocabulary lesson over – and lacking any suspense about the result of the race – it was the historic nature of the election that broadcasters were after.
“What do you think of that?” one asked.
“Well, I think it’s pretty neat, actually,” Brown said. “This fourth term, no one’s ever had it, no one’s ever going to have it again, and I take the responsibility and the opportunity very seriously. And every part of my mind, my body, my imagination, I’m going to throw into this next four years.”
Brown, 76, said, “I jump out of bed and I want to go. So tomorrow, I’ll be there figuring out, you know, what the hell you do in a fourth term.”
Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.