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Brown_signing_bills.JPGGov. Jerry Brown will skip the annual meeting of the nation's governors in Washington this weekend, with an ongoing drought in California and his own re-election campaign on the horizon.

Brown last missed the winter meeting of the National Governors Association in 2011, the first year of his third term. In each of the past two years the Democratic governor used the occasion to lobby the Obama administration on policy matters while courting the East Coast media.

"The governor's focused on the work that needs to be done here in California," spokesman Evan Westrup said Tuesday.

The nation's governors are scheduled to meet with Obama and Cabinet secretaries and to discuss education, transportation and disaster response, among other subjects.

Brown has not yet said if he will seek re-election this year, but he has raised millions of dollars for the effort and is widely expected to run.

He has had face time with the president recently, the two having appeared together in the Central Valley last week to address the drought.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills in Sacramento on March 24, 2011 as Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco look on. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua



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