Can Brown repeat Latin support

SACRAMENTO -- From 1974 to 1982, California had one of the most charismatic Democratic governors with major strength and aplomb in recent memory.

Jerry Brown ran the Golden State with one of the highest voter approval ratings, especially among the Latino community, which benefited from many social benefits during his administration.

Almost 30 years later, history could repeat itself following Brown's candidacy for governor.

"Brown has the experience necessary in Sacramento so that we can work together and start to solve the economic problems that face our state," said Assemblymember Anna Caballero, D-Salinas.

Caballero added that the most important issue the Brown candidacy should focus on is job creation, which is needed to solve the state's situation.

She also said Brown is the best candidate to work with Republicans, which is necessary considering the problems the state faces should be dealt with in a bipartisan manner.

"Today more than ever it is necessary that someone knows how to work with the opposition, and Brown is the most qualified to achieve that objective. The tenacity he has exhibited through the years is what our government needs. His knowledge is the necessary tool to take California to a higher level of prosperity," said Caballero.

Juan Arámbula, I-Fresno, called Brown's entrance into the gubernatorial race a positive because he has accumulated all the experience needed to solve the state's problems.

"After being governor, Brown has occupied other important political positions with which he has accumulated a great experience. I don't doubt that he can offer the best solutions to all the state's problems," said Arámbula, who clarified he is officially not taking a position to endorse any of the candidates.

After ending his last term as governor, Brown became secretary of state, and later mayor of Oakland. He is currently state attorney general.

State Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Ángeles, showed his likely support of Brown. He considers Brown the best option at this time of crisis.

"Brown has been a friend to the Latino community in California," said Cedillo. "His experience is extensive and I'm sure that he will look for a way to reconstruct California's economy for future years."

During his gubernatorial terms, Brown signed the state Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRB), which was designed to help farmworkers.

United Farm Workers president Arturo S. Rodríguez said Brown will need to draw upon the votes of younger Latinos and inform them of the knowledge and experience he has that can help solve the state's problems.

"He has to reach out and be appealing to the young voters of today. And (Latino) voters are going to make a difference today," said Rodríguez.

He added that the union leadership is scheduled to meet with Brown about a possible endorsement.

Modesto community leader Dale Butler said Brown is a strong candidate with a strong roots in the Latino community.

"Experience is what we need in our next governor considering the sad shape California finds itself in," said Butler.

Butler was among those who helped raise funds for Brown in the 1970s, and remembers him as a candidate who reached out to the Latino community, who in turn supported him.

During his administration, Brown appointed Latinos to important posts. Among them was Charles Aguilar, who was named to the Stanislaus County Superior Court; and, Cruz Reynoso, who was selected for the California Supreme Court.

Brown was born in San Francisco on April 7, 1938. He attended public and religious schools. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1955 and completed his first year at UC Santa Cruz before entering a Jesuit school in hopes of becoming a priest.

Two years later, took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. But in 1960, he left the school and enrolled at UC Berkeley where he graduated. He then entered Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1964.

After his university studies, Brown worked as a legal assistant with the state Supreme Court. He had the opportunity to travel and study in México.

In 1974, he was elected to his first term as California governor.