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Jerry Brown Returns as California Governor

Jerry Brown (l) is sworn in Sacramento as the 39th governor of California by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (r) with Brown's wife, Anne Gust-Brown (c), 03 Jan 2011

Long-time U.S. Democratic politician and activist Jerry Brown is once again governor of California.

The 72-year-old Brown was sworn in on Monday, nearly three decades after he completed two four-year terms in the state's highest office. This time he took over from actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became California governor in 2003 and was prohibited by law from running for re-election last year.

Brown inherits a state government that is facing a $28-billion budget shortfall, the largest of any U.S. state. And in a brief inaugural speech he warned of spending cuts designed to end California's current financial crisis. He said the year ahead will require "courage and sacrifice."

Besides serving as California's governor from 1975 to 1983, Brown has held several other statewide offices, including attorney general and secretary of state, and he is a former mayor of the city of Oakland. His father the late "Pat" Brown also was a governor of California.

Several other U.S. states swore in new governors on Monday. including Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C., has a new mayor Vincent Gray.