California Election Results: Jerry Brown Defeats Meg Whitman In 2010 Governor's Race

11/03/2010 12:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

LOS ANGELES — California voters have returned Democrat Jerry Brown to the governor's office 28 years after he left it.

With his win Tuesday, the 72-year-old state attorney general will take the helm of a state mired in recession and high unemployment after defeating Republican Meg Whitman, a billionaire who spent $142 million of her personal fortune on her campaign.

Brown's victory will return the governor's office in the nation's most populous state to Democratic control. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves in January after more than seven years in office.

Brown, the son of a former two-term governor, has spent a lifetime in and out of politics, starting when he was seated on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees in 1969.