SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

Gov. Jerry Brown is sprinting into the final year of his third term as governor with a series of policy wins and big money boosting his likely run for another term.

His voter-approved tax increases and relative spending restraint have helped end years of deficits. The Democratic governor has racked up more than $15 million for a potential campaign, far eclipsing any of his potential Republican rivals.

Yet Brown also faces a multitude of policy challenges that could come to a head in 2014. They include his support for the $68 billion high-speed rail project and a $24 billion proposal to build massive tunnels to ship water from Northern California to Southern California.

His landmark sentencing reform is also giving fodder to Republicans who raise the specter of rising crime.