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Richard Riordan: ‘I almost became (Jerry Brown’s) father-in-law’

Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan relaxes on a couch in his room at the Weston LAX while he and his family members wait for early election returns on March 5, 2002. At left is his wife Nancy Daly. At right is his daughter Tricia Torrey and Riordan's grandaughter Jessica Torrey, 3. The Sacramento Bee / Randy Pench
Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan relaxes on a couch in his room at the Weston LAX while he and his family members wait for early election returns on March 5, 2002. At left is his wife Nancy Daly. At right is his daughter Tricia Torrey and Riordan's grandaughter Jessica Torrey, 3. The Sacramento Bee / Randy Pench Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Richard Riordan, the former mayor of Los Angeles, was on the phone to chat about the presidential race the other day when talk turned briefly to California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Had things gone differently in Riordan’s personal life, they might have had a familial tie.

“I almost became his father-in-law,” Riordan said.

Decades ago, long before Brown and Anne Gust Brown met, Riordan dated Anne Baldwin Gust, the now-first lady’s mother. She was divorced from Rockwell “Rocky” Gust, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Michigan.

Riordan, now 85, said he and Gust Brown’s mother became acquainted while playing in bridge tournaments in the late 1970s. The governor’s office confirmed they dated.

Riordan, asked what happened to the relationship, said, “I don’t know.”

Riordan, a moderate Republican who was defeated in the 2002 gubernatorial primary in California, holds a dim view of Donald Trump. He is hoping for a contested convention leading to the nomination of Mitt Romney, the former presidential candidate who is not running for office.

He had some kind words for Brown, though.

“He is bright, and he’s tough,” Riordan said. “Considering how bad everything is in California, he’s not all that bad.”

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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