Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown casts ballot, mum on Torlakson v. Tuck

Gov. Jerry Brown votes early in Oakland on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.
Gov. Jerry Brown votes early in Oakland on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

Gov. Jerry Brown, with few exceptions, has long resisted the urge many politicians feel to involve themselves – whether for the sake of good government or political gain – in controversies outside their immediate purview.

After casting an early ballot here Thursday, Brown offered a clinic in how reticence is done.

No, Brown would not say if he supported Tom Torlakson or Marshall Tuck in the close race for state superintendent of public instruction.

He previously endorsed a one-time aide, Libby Schaaf, in the Oakland mayoral contest, but he would not reveal his other choices in the city’s ranked-choice, or instant runoff, voting system.

Neither would Brown state his position on Proposition 45, which would give rate-regulation authority over health insurance to the state’s elected insurance commissioner, or Proposition 46, which would raise the cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.

“Those I’m going to leave to the secrecy of the ballot,” he said.

Brown, who is far ahead in his bid for re-election, traditionally casts his ballot on Election Day, walking from his home in the Oakland hills to a fire station near his house. But he will be attending a law enforcement funeral on Tuesday, he said, prompting his early vote.

Brown was joined at the elections office by his wife, Anne Gust Brown. She is an absentee voter but mismarked her original ballot, she said.

On what contest?

“I’m not going to tell you,” she said.

Pressed, however, the first lady allowed, “It wasn’t the governor that I got wrong.”

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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