California Gov. Gavin Newsom is projected to win Tuesday’s recall election, defeating top Republican candidate and radio talk-show host Larry Elder, as of press time.
Newsom — who will remain governor until at least Jan. 2, 2023 — has already declared his intent to run in the 2022 gubernatorial election and plans to continue implementing his “California Comeback Plan,” which hopes to confront houselessness, give relief to families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, invest in infrastructure and continue fighting wildfires, among other goals.
He has also been supported by Mayor Jesse Arreguín and other local organizations, including Cal Berkeley Democrats and the Berkeley Democratic Caucus.
“No is not the only thing that was expressed tonight,” Newsom said at a victory speech in Sacramento. “We said yes to science. We said to vaccines. We said yes to ending this pandemic.”
Polls had predicted a positive outcome for Newsom. FiveThirtyEight reported Tuesday morning that 57.3% of Californians preferred to keep Newsom in office, while 41.5% opted to have him recalled. Meanwhile, a poll conducted by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies indicated that more than 60% of likely voters planned to vote against the recall.
So far, as governor, Newsom has focused on amending the state’s current criminal justice system, bolstering California’s already sizable economy, supporting K-12 education, mitigating environmental concerns, increasing access to health care and addressing ongoing housing concerns.
Throughout his history as a politician, he gained notoriety for advocating for marriage equality in the early 2000s and pushing for the decriminalization of marijuana. He previously served as a member on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, as the mayor of San Francisco and the lieutenant governor of California before assuming his governorship.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsom also signed a series of executive orders to support Californians financially and pushed for increased vaccination rates and mask mandates, which have drawn criticism from Republicans.
“I’m humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote,” Newsom added during the speech.
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Contact Mallika Seshadri and Sebastian Cahill at [email protected].