Jerry Brown, the two-time Democratic governor of California, presidential candidate and former state party chairman, has dropped out of the Democratic Party, calling it "deeply corrupted" by political money.
"In times of corruption and stagnation, people break the mold," Brown said Wednesday from the headquarters of his current race for mayor of Oakland. "The growing role of money in politics has deeply corrupted the party system in the United States."
Brown's new nonpartisan status was revealed Wednesday by the San Francisco Chronicle, and he later confirmed that he had left the Democrats two years ago, when he moved to Oakland.
Brown, 59, is running far ahead in the latest opinion poll in the mayoral contest, leading his closest rival by 33 percentage points in the June 2 primary.
He has one of the most powerful Democratic pedigrees in California. His father, the late Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Sr., served as governor between 1958 and 1966, and his sister, onetime state treasurer Kathleen Brown, won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1994.