POLITICS
02/27/2014 02:26 pm ET Updated Feb 27, 2014

Jerry Brown To Seek Reelection As California Governor

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jerry Brown is officially running for another term as California governor.

Brown, a Democrat, tweeted the news Thursday:

"At this stage of my life, I can say -- without any hesitation -- that I am prepared and excited to tackle these challenges and the many others that lay before us. In fact, there is nothing I would rather do," Brown wrote in an announcement on his campaign website. "If you had asked me 40 years ago -- when I first ran for governor -- what I would be doing in 2014, I could never have guessed. Nor could anyone else. Yet, by the grace of God and habits of perseverance instilled in me by my family, the Dominican nuns and the Jesuits, I am here and ready to go."

If elected again, it will be Brown's fourth term in Sacramento.

Brown was first elected as governor in 1974, and was reelected for a second term in 1978. In 1982, he unsuccessfully ran for a U.S. Senate seat before taking a hiatus from public life. He later served as the mayor of Oakland and California Attorney General before again running for governor in 2010, defeating Republican Meg Whitman by 11 points.

The governor was widely expected to run for a fourth term. In January, campaign finance reports showed that the governor had $17 million on hand for his reelection bid, including $7 million he raised in the last half of 2013.

Polls have shown that Brown has strong support going into the election. A Public Policy Institute of California poll conducted last month found that approval of Brown had hit record highs in the Golden State, with 60 percent of likely voters voicing approval for the governor. Additionally, a Field Poll conducted in December found Brown leading potential Republican challengers, with 52 percent of respondents saying they'd vote for the governor.

While Brown is the favored candidate, several Republicans have stepped up to challenge him.

Among them are State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a tea party favorite and founder of the California Minutemen. Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official, is also seeking the GOP nomination.

“In announcing his plan to run for a record fourth term, Gov. Brown again touted a status quo that is devastating for millions of families and communities all across the state," Kashkari said in a statement following Brown's announcement.

However, the most prominent GOP candidate, former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado, dropped out of the race last month after eight months of campaigning.

"It's time to step away for a while and spend more time with my family and stay a little closer to home helping my community, as an active private citizen," he said of his decision to leave the race.

This post has been updated to include Kashkari's statement.

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