As the votes of eager Californians trickled in, it didn’t take long for the Associated Press to determine that Governor Gavin Newsom had survived a farce republican-led recall attempt– which, according to the State Finance Department, cost a whopping $276 million.
It was just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday night when the gubernatorial recall election was called for Governor Gavin Newsom. At the Democratic Headquarters in Sacramento, moments after his landslide victory had been declared, Newsom spoke to reporters.
“I’m humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercise their fundamental right to vote and expressed themselves so overwhelmingly by rejecting the division, by rejecting the cynicism, by rejecting so much of the negativity that’s defined our politics in this country over the course of so many years,” said Newsom.
It was a notably high voter turnout for this historic recall election, especially for an off-year special election, amid a pandemic. But it turns out, California residents were in fact energized. Far more votes were cast in this recall election than in the 2003 Governor Gary Davis recall election. It was even a higher total turnout than the 2014 midterm election.
According to California exit polls, it is largely Governor Newsom’s pandemic response and emphasis on public health that pushed him to the side of victory in this recall election. Despite the governor’s mishap in the Fall of 2020, when he was caught publicly dining with a large group of people during a time when strict stay-at-home orders were in place, he managed to turn things around and gain positive traction due to his progressive initiatives such as pro-science advocacy, eviction moratorium extensions, rent relief, statewide stimulus checks, and environmental protections.
But the campaigning doesn’t stop for long. The governor’s term is still set to end in November of 2022, and it’s assumed that, especially after this week’s overwhelming success, Newsom will be running for reelection when that time comes around.
In a humble yet confident and collected manner while speaking to the press from the podium in Sacramento, Governor Newsom adds, “No is not the only thing that was expressed tonight. We said yes to science, yes to vaccines, yes to ending this pandemic.”