California Gov. Gavin Newsom Survives Recall Election

In Summary

Gavin Newsom fends off efforts by state Republicans to remove him from office, largely in part of COVID-19 restrictions placed in California. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom survived the state’s recall election on Tuesday, aided by the high turnout in heavily Democratic areas, according to a CNN projection.

“‘No’ is not the only thing that was expressed tonight,” Newsom said in his victory speech. “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.”

Aided by a last-minute push by President Joe Biden on Monday and Vice President Kamala Harris last week, Newsom faced an uphill battle as many people in the state expressed frustration over his policies related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

“No Republican running for governor could possibly have defeated Gavin Newsom in the recall election, but COVID could have,” Dan Schnur, a former spokesman for the late GOP Sen. John McCain, told Yahoo News. “The reason it’s not is because voters here have come to conclude that he is doing a much better job on it than they’d thought last spring and last winter.” 

Elder, who had become the leading GOP candidate in the race, previously blasted the media, claiming that it shielded Newsom from criticism, the Associated Press reported.  

He accepted defeat telling supporters, “Let’s be gracious in defeat. By the way, we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.”

The conservative radio talk show host was recently in hot water when it was revealed that he attended a conservative conference that featured speeches from white nationalists Kyle Chapman and Johnny Benitez.  

RELATED: Larry Elder Attended Conference With White Nationalists in 2017

His communication manager Ying Ma told HuffPost, “He is a Black man from South Central who doesn’t subscribe to the mainstream media’s narrative of racial grievance or your misguided notions of systemic racism.  Instead of examining your own delusions, you look for every opportunity possible to paint him as a white nationalist sympathizer. It’s absurd.” 

A Public Policy Institute of California poll revealed that most California voters would vote “no” to recalling Newsom, with around 58% saying this month that they wanted him to stay on to lead the state.  

This is the second time that California had a recall reach the ballot and the second time in 20 years. In 2003, voters recalled Gov. Gray Davis, resulting in actor Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming governor of the country’s most populous state.  

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