SACRAMENTO — A former chief of staff says two-term California governor George Deukmejian, whose anti-spending credo earned him the nickname “The Iron Duke,” has died. He was 89.
Steve Merksamer says Deukmejian died Tuesday of natural causes.
The Republican spent three decades in state politics as an assemblyman, senator, state attorney general and finally as California’s 35th governor.
Deukmejian ran a law-and-order administration from 1983 to 1991, expanding the state prison system, bringing the left-leaning California Supreme Court to the center and supporting tough, anti-crime legislation.
He earned his nickname from his Republican supporters in the Legislature for his resistance to spending increases and his willingness to veto spending proposals.