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Jerry Brown backs challenger for Oakland mayor

Gov. Jerry Brown waded into the local political scene in Oakland on Monday and endorsed Libby Schaaf, a City Council member running for mayor.

"I love this city and all the excitement and opportunity it brings," Brown wrote in a letter to voters. "Because I want it to achieve much more of its potential, I'm voting for Libby Schaaf."

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Brown was mayor of Oakland from 1999 to 2007, and Schaaf was one of his aides. In his letter, Brown highlighted her work on Project Choice, an initiative intended to keep juvenile parolees from getting into more trouble with the law.

Schaaf is trying to unseat Mayor Jean Quan, who is running for her second term.

Oakland uses a ranking system on its ballot, which allows voters to choose a first, second or third choice for mayor. So Brown closed his letter to voters by saying, "Even if Libby is not your first choice, I hope she will be your second or third!"

Follow @chrismegerian for more updates from Sacramento.

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