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Seats of long-serving state Democrats a coveted prize

  • California Gov. Jerry Brown discusses various topics including the passing of Proposition 30 during a news conference, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 in Sacramento, Calif. California Gov. Jerry Brown is delivering on a campaign promise he made two years ago to fix California's perpetual budget deficits and raise taxes to do it only if voters agreed. Brown says voters put their trust in his plan during Tuesday's election by approving Proposition 30. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Randy Pench) MAGS OUT; LOCAL TV OUT (KCRA3, KXTV10, KOVR13, KUVS19, KMAZ31, KTXL40); MANDATORY CREDIT

LOS ANGELES — When it comes to politics, the state synonymous with perpetual youth has gone gray at the top.

California Gov. Jerry Brown was born the year Babe Ruth signed on to coach the Dodgers — the Brooklyn Dodgers. California's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, was exiting high school the year President Harry Truman sacked Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Humphrey Bogart swaggered across the screen in "The Enforcer."

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was a college student when she attended John F. Kennedy's inaugural address — in 1961. And Sen. Barbara Boxer was born before the U.S. entered World War II, in a year when a gallon of gasoline cost 18 cents.

They're all older than Ronald Reagan when he became, at 69, the oldest president to take office in U.S. history. They've endured for years in a trendsetting state that popularized everything from skateboarding to Spago, where every year brings something new, whether on a Hollywood screen, a food truck menu or a Silicon Valley laptop.

At issue is more than a few wrinkles.


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