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Former California governor and three-time presidential candidate Jerry Brown said Tuesday he would run for mayor of Oakland next year.

It would be his first try for office since he was defeated in a bid for the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination.

He ran unsuccessfully for president three times -- in 1976, 1980 and 1992 -- and was rejected in his bid last spring for a seat on Oakland's Port Commission.

As governor from 1975 to 1983, Brown won the nickname "Governor Moonbeam" because of his unorthodox ideas and way of life.

After his defeat in a 1984 Senate race, Brown spent time in Japan and worked with Mother Teresa in India before returning to California, where he practiced law and became state Democratic chairman.

Brown, 59, who hosts a daily talk show on local FM radio, said Tuesday that if elected "I would open the processes of government and create a people-friendly city -- safe, honest and bursting with craft and entrepreneurial spirit.

"Oakland doesn't need more red tape or new taxes. It needs fresh ideas, openness to change and infusions of capital."

Mayor Elihu Harris has not yet announced whether he will seek re-election in 1998. But a spokeswoman for Harris said he may make an announcement today.

Considered one of the most ethnically mixed cities in California, Oakland is about 44 percent black, 32 percent white and 15 percent Asian-American.

The eight-member City Council, including Harris -- who is black -- is about half black and half white with one Asian-American and one Hispanic.

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