C governor of alifornia , Gavin Newsom , defeated a historic Republican-led recall effort, securing a victory that will likely save his political career and strengthen the Democrats' pursuit of politics.
Newsom easily resisted Tuesdaythe attempt to remove him less than three years after the start of his first term. The incomplete comebacks showed him heading for a landslide victory with around 65% of the vote.
The popular Democratic governor in the state faced more than 40 opposing candidates eager to take the helm of the Golden State. Its main challenger, Larry Elder , a right-wing radio host who opposes minimum wage and gun control, attempted to cast doubt on the result even before the polls close on Tuesday.
Newsom did not host a surveillance party or election night celebration. Instead, he gave journalists a somber tone.rdi evening, stating: "Tonight I am humbled, grateful, but resolute.
" No is not the only thing that has been expressed tonight, ”Newsom said. "We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to the end of this pandemic c.
" Democracy n " 'It's not a football. You don't throw it away. It's more like, I don't know, an antique vase, "he added. " You can drop it, smash it into a million different pieces - and that's what we're capable of doing if we don't get up to meet the moment and push back. "
'A choice over life and death '
Closed by data Republicans opposed to Newsom 's progressive policies, recall effort has gaining momentum at the mosts heightened by the pandemic amid frustrations over prolonged school closures, trade restrictions and huge delays at state unemployment agencies.
Elder has promised a radical change of course if he is elected as the head of the most populous state in the United States. He has vowed to remove public health policies, including restrictions on coronaviruses such as mask and vaccine warrants.
"I don't drink coffee, I drink tea, and when I become governor, assuming there are still warrants for vaccines and warrants for face masks, they will be repealed before I have my first cup of tea, "he said. Elder told his supporters at a rally in August in California's Central Valley, where the rise of the Delta variant began to overwhelm hospital intensive care units.
Elder propped upHe also spoke out against the minimum wage, had criticized the landmark Roe v Wade decision on abortion rights, and had promised to select conservative judges and replace 88-year-old Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein with a Republican if the the opportunity presented itself.
With Elder in the race, Newsom framed the election as a competition between two radically different visions of California 's future. and the referendum on the future of Trumpism in US politics. Newsom called Elder "more extreme than Donald Trump" and called the choice between him and the Republican challengers a "choice of life or death.
California voters made it clear on Tuesday that they did not want a radical change of course. "It is somewhat remarkable that Newsom was able to take hold of the Covid problem, which could have been a fatal weakness for him. and make oneconsiderable force "said Dan Schnur, professor of politics who advised the Republican candidates.
" Larry Elder handed [Democrats] so many gifts on a tray. He is literally the antithesis of most California voters, "said Dana Williamson, who was a top advisor to former California Governor Jerry Brown.
Newsom's victory secures his ability to stand for re-election in 2022, potentially dismissing any major challenger, and preserves his place as national politician.
"Now he wins, he wins again in 2022 and now we are all in 2024 and beyond and he becomes a presidential candidate viable, "said Jack Citrin, professor of political science at UC Berkeley. "Every crisis is also an opportunity.
Having sUpon recall, Newsom will serve another year before being re-elected. "If he had survived by a small margin, it is very likely that another Democrat would have run against him from the left next year," Schnur said. "But given a landslide like this, it's very hard to see that happen.
With a little more than a In tenure, Citrin expects Newsom to avoid "self-inflicted injuries" such as his ill-fated visit to the Michelin-starred French Laundry restaurant during the state's Covid outbreak last fall, and make a greater effort to connect with Latino voters. "There has been a certain sense in this campaign that it has not had a strong following among Latino voters as you would like given the growing political and electoral power of Latinos.
Newsom's victory comes as California confidestackling huge political challenges, including homelessness, a housing shortage that leads to an increase in already unaffordable housing prices and the double environmental crisis of drought and forest fires.
California is in the middle of another devastating fire season, and in recent years, flames have razed entire cities, destroyed thousands of homes and killed more than 180 people. Experts have warned that state wildfires are beyond government intervention and that decisive leadership is needed to resolve the crisis by taking action against the climate crisis and reintroducing fire to the landscape.
As the state battles worsening fires, it also faces a devastating drought that has left reservoirs dangerously low, putting pressure on agricultural industry and threatened the power supply of hydropower plants. Although the state has spent billions to prepare, experts say more ambitious solutions are still needed to navigate in the years to come.
In the meantime, The costly election, which could cost the state up to $ 300 million, is sure to spark further questions about reform of the California recall system, which has been the subject of intense criticism these months. Citrin doesn't see the reminder going away anytime soon, but expects there will be some effort to fine-tune the process by requiring more signatures.
Maanvi Singh and the Associated Press contributed.