Introducing the new governors around the nation
Wednesday, November 3, 2010; 2:07 PM
-- A look at the newest faces in the nation's governorships:
Republican state Rep. Robert Bentley, a retired Tuscaloosa dermatologist, wasn't supposed to be on the general election ballot for governor of Alabama.
The 67-year-old Bentley entered the Republican primary regarded as an also-ran making his first statewide race. But he mortgaged his home and drew from his retirement to put $1.9 million of his own money into the race, and he caught voters' attention with a promise not to take a salary as governor until Alabama's near-record unemployment returned to normal levels.
He finished second but narrowly made the GOP runoff, then won it with the help of the state teachers' organization. On the campaign trail, Bentley opposed federal health care legislation, praised Arizona's immigration law and promised to fight the expansion of gambling in Alabama.
Bentley says he believes everyone is protected by the Constitution including "unborn children." He has promised to "give Montgomery a bath" to clean up corruption in state government.
After spending a lifetime in and out of politics, Democrat Jerry Brown returns to claim the California governor's office, a post he held nearly three decades ago.
The former two-term governor began his political comeback as mayor of the crime-ridden city of Oakland in the late 1990s and four years ago became the state's attorney general.
Brown, the son of the beloved former California Gov. Pat Brown, didn't always want to be a politician, initially studying to become a priest at a Jesuit seminary. Aside from serving as governor, from 1975 to 1983, Brown unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 1982 and the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976, 1980 and 1992.
He gained notoriety early in his political career, not only for ideas that earned him the nickname "Governor Moonbeam" but for dating singer Linda Ronstadt. He studied Buddhism in Japan and ministered to the ill with Mother Teresa in India.