From Brown to Newsom, California to see new style, substance

When Gov. Jerry Brown cedes power to Gavin Newsom, it will be the first time since 1887 that California has had consecutive Democratic governors. But California isn't getting a carbon copy in substance or style.

Newsom becomes governor today, concluding the 80-year-old Brown's four terms leading the nation's most populous state. The handoff reflects Democrats' dominance in California politics — the party holds every statewide office and huge majorities in the Legislature. And it is the next act in a history between the Newsom and Brown families that spans eight decades.

University of California, Berkeley political science professor Eric Schickler says the new governor will stay Brown's course in some areas but is likely to push more ambitious and expensive policies related to health care and education.

Newsom enters office with a strong economy and nearly $30 billion in reserves left from Brown, although a slowing of the national economy could drastically shift the course of Newsom's governorship.

Dawn Kamber