Gov. Jerry Brown reflects on term, legacy as he leaves office

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Gov. Jerry Brown reflected on his legacy and the challenges facing Gavin Newsom when he succeeds him as California's 40th governor on Monday.

In his last official interview as governor, Brown talked to Eyewitness Newsmakers about the fiscal restraint that helped the state build a $15 billion rainy day fund and a projected budget surplus. California faced a $27 billion deficit when he took office in 2011.

Brown warned the Legislature, with its Democratic supermajority, will have a tendency to spend on new programs, but "a recession is coming," and they should be cautious. He leaves office believing his two legacies will be eventually accomplished; high speed rail and the Delta water project.

Brown was first elected in 1975, and then it was nearly 30 years before he served his second two terms.

Brown leaves after four terms and, unless term limits are repealed, will continue to hold the record for the longest tenure as governor.

At age 80, he is the oldest governor. He was first elected at age 36 - one of the state's youngest.

Brown unsuccessfully ran for president three times and once for U.S. Senate. He held the office of California secretary of state and attorney general. He was mayor of Oakland.

His father, Pat Brown, was elected governor in 1958. His sister, Kathleen served as state treasurer.

This will be the first time in more than 60 years that the Brown family name will be gone from state office.
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