Smaller Pond: Jerry Brown is back with a downsized ambition

Jerry Brown is back with a downsized ambition

Oakland has always lived in the shadow of its glittery sister city across the bay, and that went for its politicians too. But this week's mayoral primary could change that. Former California Governor Edmund G. ("Jerry") Brown Jr. is far ahead of his opponents--46% support among registered voters, vs. single digits for all the others. If he gets 50%, there will be no need for a runoff.

Such a victory would mark an unconventional, if modest, political comeback for Brown, now 60. In 1995, after three failed bids for the presidency, he sold his mansion in San Francisco's posh Pacific Heights...

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