California Governor Recall Results: Gavin Newsom Wins

He'll remain in office, AP projects
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2021 11:30 PM CDT
Updated Sep 15, 2021 12:33 AM CDT
California Governor Gavin Newsom Defeats Recall
A voter casts a ballot for the California recall election at a vote center at Union Station, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

(Newser) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday became the second governor in US history to defeat a recall aimed at kicking him out of office early, a contest the Democratic governor crafted as part of national battle for his party’s values in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and lingering threats from “Trumpism.” The victory cements Newsom as a prominent figure in national Democratic politics and preserves his prospects for a future national run. It also ensures the nation’s most populous state will remain in Democratic control as a laboratory for progressive policies on immigration, climate change, representation, and inequality. “'No' is not the only thing that was expressed tonight," Newsom said at a news conference, per the AP. “I want to focus on what we said ‘yes' to as a state: We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to ending this pandemic.”

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A Republican almost certainly would have replaced Newsom had the recall succeeded, bringing a polar opposite political worldview, though they would have had to contend with a state Capitol dominated by Democrats. The recall, which turned on Newsom’s approach to the pandemic, mirrored the nation’s heated political divide over business closures and mask and vaccine mandates, and both parties will dissect its outcome heading into the 2022 midterm elections. Though Newsom defeated the recall, he may soon be running against top replacement candidate Larry Elder, a conservative talk radio host, again: The governor is up for reelection next year, and the primary, which puts candidates from all parties on one ballot, is just nine months away. (Much more here.)

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