Proclaiming Hillary Clinton the only candidate capable of stopping "the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump," California Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed the Democratic front-runner for president in an open letter to voters.
The letter, posted May 31, pays lip service to Clinton's primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Brown wrote that he's "deeply impressed" with the Sanders campaign and its focus on economic inequality.
But Brown explains that he's supporting Clinton because he believes she can defeat Trump in the general election, praising her relentlessness and her "ability to get things done." He also urges voters to get behind Clinton so Democrats can unite.
The endorsement comes at a critical time, just a week before the June 7 Democratic primary in California. In all, 548 delegates are up for grabs in that primary, and the Sanders campaign has focused on the state as a potential prize before the Democratic convention.
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"The stakes couldn’t be higher," Brown wrote. "Our country faces an existential threat from climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons. A new cold war is on the horizon. This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other."
Brown's endorsement is good news for the Clinton campaign after a week of negative headlines and newspaper editorials prompted by a new report from the state department's Inspector General. That report found Clinton had ignored repeated and detailed warnings about cybersecurity while she was Secretary of State, and said hackers were targeting her private "homebrew" email server as early as 2011, says USA Today. The report contradicted Clinton's assertions that she did not know the use of private email systems were forbidden, and noted neither Clinton nor her top aides were willing to be interviewed for the state department's internal review.
The FBI is conducting a separate criminal probe into Clinton's use of unsecured private email. The FBI has not said when it will release its findings, despite pressure from the Sanders campaign, Republicans and critics of the Clintons.
Despite her difficult week and Sanders' persistence, Clinton still holds a 268 delegate lead over the Vermont senator, says Real Clear Politics. Clinton also enjoys an 8.6 percent lead in aggregated national polls, according to the site.
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Brown said the numbers make it clear Democratic voters want Clinton as their nominee, and urged his state's independent voters to support her to prevent a Trump victory.
"The general election has already begun," Brown wrote. "Hillary Clinton, with her long experience, especially as Secretary of State, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one."