California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom staved off an effort to oust him from office in Tuesday’s special election.
During remarks after holding off the recall vote, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that “no” was “not the only thing that was expressed tonight”.
“We said ‘yes’ to science, we said ‘yes’ to vaccines, we said ‘yes’ to ending this pandemic”, he underscored.
The governor added that “we [also] said ‘yes’ to [a] woman’s fundamental constitutional right to decide for herself what she does with her body […], we said ‘yes’ to diversity […] and inclusion”.
Newsom pointed out that he was “humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote”.
He spoke as about 60 percent of votes have already been tallied, indicating that around 67% of voters opposed the recall effort vs 33%, who supported the measure.
This came after the governor said earlier this year that the campaign to remove him from office had nothing to do with dissatisfaction in his leadership but was instead a challenge to California’s progressive policies on immigration, diversity, healthcare, and criminal justice.
“It’s about our clean air, clean water programmes, meeting our environmental strategies”, he told KQED radio in a reference to the policies.
Anthony Pahnke, a political analyst and assistant professor of international relations at San Francisco State University, has meanwhile argued “that Newsom so easily beating back the recall attempt shows the power that the Democrats have in the state of California”.
“There, as they outnumber Republicans 2 to 1, the early results from the recall effort show that the state is as blue as ever. This still may not stop Newsom’s principle challenger, Larry Elder, from making claims that there was voter fraud. Regardless, the margin of victory is so large that even if there was fraud, it would not have made an impact”, Pahnke says.
Recall Effort Against Newsom
The recall effort in California was triggered earlier in the year by state residents unhappy with Newsom’s pandemic-related policies, his approach to handling economic problems, and other issues.
Initially, the authors of the anti-Newsom campaign berated the governor for implementing laws they said “are detrimental to the citizens of this state and our way of life”. They also accused him of failing to address the issue of homelessness and blamed him for high taxes.
After the COVID-19 pandemic erupted, Californians reacted angrily to Newsom introducing a number of strict measures aimed at curbing the spread of the disease – in particular, his decision to close businesses and schools. The discontent reached a boiling point when the governor was spotted in a fancy restaurant surrounded by friends at a time when he had told California residents to stay home.