Kathleen Brown

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Kathleen Brown
29th Treasurer of California
In office
January 7, 1991 – January 2, 1995
GovernorPete Wilson
Preceded byThomas Hayes
Succeeded byMatt Fong
Personal details
Kathleen Lynn Brown

(1945-09-25) September 25, 1945 (age 77)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)George Rice (divorced)
Van Gordon Sauter
RelativesPat Brown (father)
Bernice Layne Brown (mother)
Jerry Brown (brother)
EducationStanford University (BA)
Fordham University (JD)

Kathleen Lynn Brown (born September 25, 1945) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 29th Treasurer of California from 1991 to 1995. Brown unsuccessfully ran for Governor of California in the 1994 election.

Early life and education[edit]

Brown was born in San Francisco, the youngest of four children of former California Governor Pat Brown (1959–1967). She is the youngest sister of twice-California Governor Jerry Brown (1975–1983, 2011–2019). Brown is a graduate of Stanford University and Fordham University School of Law.[1]

Political career[edit]

Brown was elected to the Los Angeles City Board of Education in 1975, then re-elected in 1979.[1] She was a member of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works from 1987 to 1989.

California State Treasurer[edit]

Brown successfully ran for California State Treasurer in 1990. After defeating Compton city treasurer Wesley Sanders in the Democratic primary, Brown faced Republican incumbent Thomas W. Hayes in the general election.[2] Hayes, who had been appointed to the office a year prior, ran an advertisement asking voters if they “Remember Jerry Brown?” to tie her to her brother's unpopularity.

During the campaign, Brown described herself as the "financial Brown", and held a large financial advantage versus Hayes. Brown's strength among female voters and the electorate in Northern California ultimately power her victory.[3]

1994 gubernatorial election[edit]

In 1994, Brown ran for Governor of California against Republican incumbent Pete Wilson. Her candidacy made her the third member of her family, after her father and brother, to run for the office. Running on the slogan "America's Best Treasurer to Revive America's Worst Economy", Brown's campaign focused on economic issues facing the state. Her campaign's senior advisor was Steve Glazer, who was later elected to the California State Senate.[4]

In the spring of 1994, Brown appeared favored in the contest, with a Field Poll taken in April 1994 showing her with a 51 to 39 percent lead over the incumbent.[5] By fall, however, polls had tightened considerably, which was partially credited to California's economic condition improving by election day.[4]

Brown ultimately lost to Wilson, with the Los Angeles Times concluding that she "changed issues too often and ran out of money".[6] Despite speculation that she would run for Governor again in 1998, she did not enter the race.[7]

Post-political career[edit]

Brown is a partner in law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.[8] Prior to joining Manatt, she was head of public finance for the Midwest region for Goldman Sachs, after taking positions as president of private banking for Bank of America 1995–2000, and as head of public sector and infrastructure investment for Goldman Sachs from 2001 to 2010.[9] Staying in California for public sector banking would have likely posed a potential conflict of interest.[10]

Brown is a member of the board of directors for Sempra Energy, owners of Southern California Gas Company responsible for the Aliso Canyon gas leak.[11]

Personal life[edit]

She had three children with her first husband, George Rice, then divorced him. Then, she married Van Gordon Sauter, at one time President of CBS News, and they have five grown children.[1] Her dog, named Sutter, was given to Jerry Brown, and became California's First Dog in 2011.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Biography of Kathleen Brown". California Voter Foundation. 1994. Archived from the original on March 13, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2010.
  2. ^ Shuit, Douglas P. (February 16, 1990). ""Kathleen Brown Shakes Up Treasurer's Race : Politics: She accuses incumbent Hayes of dragging his feet in selling voter-approved bonds."". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Shuit, Douglas P. (November 8, 1990). "CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS: TREASURER : Kathleen Brown's Victory Revives a California Dynasty". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Wood, Daniel (October 6, 1994). "Kathleen Brown's Big Lead Fades In Race for California Governor". Christian Science Monitor.
  6. ^ Decker, Cathleen (November 14, 1994). "COLUMN ONE : Analysis of a Doomed Campaign : Kathleen Brown changed issues too often and ran out of money. But even if she had made no mistakes, she faced a political master holding two aces--crime and illegal immigration". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  7. ^ Stall, Bill (December 2, 1994). "Let the 1998 Governor's Race Begin : Politics: Before Wilson has even been sworn in for his second term, candidates are posturing to replace him. John Garamendi is the first to publicly show his cards". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ "Comings & Goings: Kathleen Brown Returns to Law". The Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ "Kathleen Brown leaves California for Goldman's Chicago office". Crain's Chicago Business.
  10. ^ "PolitiCal". Los Angeles Times. December 15, 2010.
  11. ^ "Board of Directors - Sempra". www.sempra.com. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "L.A. Unleashed". Los Angeles Times. February 16, 2011.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Treasurer of California
Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of California
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Treasurer of California
Succeeded by