In a relief for the Democrats, California Gov. Gavin Newsom survived a recall, a Republican attempt aimed at kicking him out of office. The former mayor of San Francisco became the second governor in US history to defeat a recall.
The victory 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. 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," Newsom said at a news conference.
Exit polls showed that about 45% of residents of the state agree with Newson's policies set forth to tackle COVID-19, according to US media reports.
Newsom was elected by an overwhelming margin in 2018 to a term that would end in 2023.
Recall organizers needed about 1.5 million signatures — California has 22 million registered voters — to make the ballot. They owe their success in part to a single day in November, when a judge gave them four extra months to gather signatures due to the pandemic.
Newsom’s administration has mandated children wear masks in schools and is requiring all health care workers to get vaccinated. Teachers and government employees must be vaccinated or tested regularly. Ace Smith, one of Newsom’s political consultants, said before the race concluded that he believed it would provide Newsom — and the Democratic Party — a “clear mandate” for “sanity” on public health.
While, President Joe Biden did not take Newsom over the line, he did give the fellow democrat a last-minute push when at a rally he said that the results of the election will be felt nationally, shaping the country’s direction on climate change, the pandemic and even reproductive rights.