LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — With midterm elections just a week away, Gov. Jerry Brown was in Southern California on Tuesday to address questions about his re-election bid.
“Save money. Save water,” Brown said of his priorities, if elected to another term, adding: “The realignment. The local control funding formula. Investing more money where kids are facing greater challenges.”
A television ad released this week is the closest Brown has come to asking voters to re-elect him. In it, he discusses the progress he says he has been made during his current term in office.
One aspect of the campaign Brown never mentions is his Republican challenger, Neel Kashkari, who trails him by 16 points in a recent poll.
Kashkari charges that Brown is taking the voters for granted.
“I think it just speaks to his sense of entitlement. His dad was governor. Everything has been handed to him. He thinks it’s a coronation for a fourth term,” Kashkari said.
Kashkari has told audiences that Brown’s claim about a California comeback rings hollow.
“Look at these statistics. Failing schools. A lack of jobs. Record poverty. And our incumbent governor looks at that data and he says, ‘California comeback,’ ” Kashkari has said.
In Kashkari’s television ad campaign, he focuses on schools and what he calls Brown’s “betrayal of students” for backing an appeal in a case that would make it easier to fire bad teachers.
But with little campaign funding and a weak California Republican party, Kashkari is facing an uphill fight against a governor who is ignoring him and the campaign for the most part, according to KCAL9 Political Reporter Dave Bryan.
Even political veterans say Brown’s campaign is unique.
“This really is almost unprecedented, at least in modern California political history. In the past, even if one candidate has been running ahead in the polls, running way ahead in the polls, he still makes some effort to campaign, if for no other reason than to lay out an agenda,” said Dan Schnur, Executive Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.
But at a news conference in Silver Lake on Tuesday, Brown said that 40 years after his first race for governor, he feels the voters know plenty about him.
“I’ve probably given more speeches and authorized more ads than any other candidate in the history of California,” Brown said. “Given your relentless appetite for even more information, I would just have to say, look a little further into all the bills we’ve passed.”
Meanwhile, Brown gave no indication that he plans to campaign more aggressively in the final week before the election but he did say that plans for the last great rally haven’t been announced.
He, however, didn’t clarify whether the rally would be for his re-election as governor or for the ballot propositions he supports, Bryan said.