LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has easily advanced in Tuesday’s California primary.


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With 48 percent of precincts reporting, Brown, who will seek an unprecedented fourth term, was leading a large field of gubernatorial candidates with 55 percent of the vote.

“I want to thank the people of California for giving me a fourth chance to serve them in the governorship—at least the primary,” Brown said from a press conference in Sacramento. “I take nothing for granted and I have to say that California has come a long way in the last few years. We’ve closed a massive budget deficit, we have good relations between the two parties on significant issues, and we have a rainy day fund that will be on the ballot. And it’s very important that the rainy day fund be approved by the people on the November ballot.”

The 76-year-old continued, “Someone once told me that you win elections the year before. What won this election tonight is curing a $27 billion deficit, keeping my promise not to raise taxes unless the people themselves voted for it, and bringing the government closer to the people.”

GOP candidates Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari, who so far have received 15 and 18 percent of the vote respectively, are hoping to face Brown in the fall.

KCAL9’s Serene Branson reported from Donnelly’s campaign at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

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Donnelly, a Tea Party favorite from Twin Peaks near Lake Arrowhead, has prided himself on a grassroots, low-budget campaign. He’s focused on education and keeping jobs in California.

“Jerry Brown does not have enough money to cover up what he’s done to California. When you look at when he started almost 40 years ago, he’s taken California from first to last in everything that matters. Our schools used to be the envy of the world. Now we’re 48th in reading, 49th in math. We’re circling the drain,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly is in a tight race with 40-year-old Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official who helped lead the federal bailout.

KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reports that hundreds of Kashkari’s supporters gathered at the Port Theater in Corona del Mar, while Kashkari watched election results at a Costa Mesa hotel.

“We feel great. The early returns are very encouraging. We’re not gonna prejudge anything. Every vote counts. We want to let all the election officials in the state do their jobs, but we really feel encouraged and we’re so grateful to have so many terrific supporters out here tonight, so I want you to stick around with us, OK?” Kashkari said.

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