The Chronicle endorsement: Gavin Newsom for California governor

The nation’s most populous, prosperous and yet perpetually challenged state needs a governor who can at once be bold, daring and resolutely pragmatic.

For the last seven years, California has had such a governor in Jerry Brown, who could think long term in ways both audacious (climate change leadership, high-speed rail) and austere (budget discipline in the face of his fellow Democrats in the Legislature). His leadership helped steer state government from a seemingly intractable $27 billion “wall of debt” coming out of the recession to an era of surpluses with money set aside for “rainy days,” though unfunded public-employee retirement costs will remain a burden for his successor.

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