Three term California Governor Jerry Brown today announced that he will seek an unprecedented fourth term as Governor, according to ABC News, Feb. 27, 2014. Brown first was elected Governor in 1974, succeeding Ronald Reagan who succeeded his father, Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown.
If Brown is elected to a fourth term, he will become and remain the only California Governor ever to attain four terms of office. This is because now California has term limits and all Governors elected after November 6, 1990, are limited to two terms. Brown was exempt from the term limits because he completed his original two terms of office in 1983, long before the two term limits went into effect.
Brown, who was a Presidential candidate in 1976 and 1980, does have some very compelling challenges ahead of him as both Governor and a Gubernatorial candidate. Here is a list and brief description of the challenges that Brown is facing:
1) California's horrific drought: California now is facing its worst drought in history, forcing the Governor to make some very tough decisions pertaining to water usage, agricultural irrigation, water rationing, etc..
2) Illegal immigration: Brown has some enormous decisions to make regarding how to handle the increasingly challenging issue of illegal immigration, undocumented farm workers, government services to non-citizens, and securing the border. He must walk a delicate tight rope between those who favor providing services and rights to the undocumented and those who advocate deporting them.
3) Major companies leaving California: Many large industrial and white collar employers are leaving California because of its high taxes, rigorous requirements, and overbearing government oversight of their activities. Brown has a difficult balance to maintain between making things easier for major employers and still maintaining the state's unrivaled standards and requirements.
4) Unemployment: Brown faces a huge unemployment rate in California (8.7% overall). This contrasts with America's overall unemployment rate of 6.6%. Brown must find ways to attract employers to the state who will help fill the gap without flooding the state with an overabundance of services.
5) California's widely publicized High Speed Rail project: This project, which is slated to cost over $68 billion, is facing widespread opposition from many factions throughout the state. Since this is the number one item on Brown's political agenda for California, he must find a way to regain the support of the People for said project or be forced to abandon it altogether.
There are several potential high profile Republican opponents to Brown in this race, but it is unlikely that any of them will be successful. Brown has over $17 million in his campaign treasury, much more than that of any of his potential Republican running mates.