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U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) attends a post election party November 2, 2010 in Hollywood, California. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) won a tight Senate race in California against Republican senatorial candidate and former head of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina, while California Attorney General and Democratic candidate Jerry Brown is leading Former eBay CEO and Republican candidate Meg Whitman for the Governor's seat.
Unlike in much of the country, Democrats fared well in California Tuesday. The cliffhanger: the race for attorney general between L.A. County DA Steve Cooley and San Francisco DA Kamala Harris.
Jerry Brown is headed back to the governor’s office.
He was the youngest California governor when he first served, at age 36 in 1975 – and he’ll be the oldest when he takes the oath in January, at age 72.
“Looks like I’m going back again," said Brown. "Now, as you know, I’ve got the know-how and the experience and all those other things I said. And this time of course we have a first lady which we didn’t have last time. And that’s going to be the real difference.”
He joked during the campaign that he used to closed down the bars when he was governor the first time – and that time and his wife have tamed him.
His wife Anne Gust, a former Gap clothing executive, is a close advisor and expected to play a role in his administration.
Brown's promising to bring a fractured Sacramento together this time around. “I take as my purpose forging a common purpose," said Brown, "but a common purpose based not just on compromise but on a vision of what California can be. And I see a California leading once again in renewable energy, public education.”
He’s said he plans to create a half million so-called green jobs.
He’s also promised to reduce pensions for state workers and to start work on the budget two weeks from now.
Barabara Boxer also prevailed last night – but her opponent was reluctant to admit it.
It was an odd night for concession speeches in California. Meg Whitman, who spent 140 million of her own dollars trying to defeat Brown, conceded more than three hours after exit polls showed she lost and every news organization including Fox News declared her done.
Fiorina never conceded last night, despite similar evidence of her defeat. “The facts are, it is too close to call. The facts are, it’s gonna be a long night," Fiorina said at her election night party. "And we are going to be watching returns all night. But all those people who’ve already called this race – maybe that wasn’t a smart thing to do." The crowd cheered.
It’s 52 percent to 42 percent (over 700,000 votes). Barbara Boxer basically ignored Fiorina's refusal to concede and went ahead and declared victory.
She noted this was her toughest re-election bid ever. “Everything was thrown at us, including the kitchen sink – and the stove and the oven and everything. Millions of dollars of negative ads from known and unknown opponents.”
Like much of the country, California saw unprecedented spending thanks to the Supreme Court ruling lifting regulations.