CA Recall Election: CA Gov. Gavin Newsom fends off recall effort, will remain in office
Governor Gavin Newsom unequivocally defeated a republican supported recall effort that attempted to oust him in his third year in office.
Why it matters:
The Republican-led recall might have been the last chance for the California Republican Party to win the governorship since the previous recall election in 2003 that placed Arnold Schwarzenegger in Sacramento.
Election night was relatively quick; the race was called three hours after the polls closed, with over 60% of ballots cast voting "No" on the first question on whether to remove Newsom from office.
Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder led among the challengers looking to replace Newsom, winning every county except San Francisco.
For weeks, Republicans have fanned the flames of potential election fraud and ask supporters to vote in person.
Newsom became just the second governor in US history to overcome a recall election, solidifying his chances for a run for the White House.
The recall election could cost up to $300 million in taxpayer money, ABC 7.
It took a village:
President Biden arrival on Monday to stump in Long Beach to stump for Mr.Newsom a day before the recall election, with the president warning voters that Elder was a "clone of Donald Trump."
A few weeks before, Vice President Kamala Harris went to an event for Mr.Newsom in Northern California.
US Senator Bernie Sanders filmed a campaign ad that encouraged Californians to vote against the recall saying the effort is a "republican power grab."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told her followers, "If you live in California, there's probably a ballot in your mailbox on a recall election," Ocasio-Cortez said. "Please find that thing, vote no, stick that sucker right back in your mailbox because the (other) options are bad."
The game plan by the California Republican Party was predicated on the public's dissatisfaction with months of pandemic restrictions and lockdowns.
Forty-six people ran to replace Newsom as Governor, with Larry Elder taking a massive lead among the challengers, per the AP.
The California Republican Party opted not to endorse any candidate in the recall election.
Newsom framed the recall election not as a referendum on his handling of the pandemic but as the fight against Trump-like figures.
How did we get here:
The recall effort started in February 2020 but didn’t gain steam until after the lockdown of the state's economy in May to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The French Laundry incident: In November, Newsom faced widespread criticism for attending a birthday dinner of a lobbyist without wearing a face-masks, a direct violation of his own COVID-19 health orders.
The Homeless Crisis: The homeless population grew, which was already a problem, became exacerbated due to lockdowns causing scores of tent encampments to sprung up in cities during the pandemic.
According to CapRadio and NPR's California Newsroom investigation, Newsom deceived the public about his office's accomplishments in wildfire prevention.
Unemployment fraud at the EDD: As much as $31 billion in California unemployment funds have been paid out to people defrauding the state, per ABC 7 News.