California Governor Gavin Newsom makes an appearance after the polls close on the recall election at the California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, Calif., September 14, 2021. (Fred Greaves/Reuters)
California voters overwhelmingly chose to keep Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom in office in a recall election on Tuesday.
Newsom was spared after a projection by the Associated Press showed that a majority of voters opted against recalling him.
With 61 percent of the estimated vote in, early returns showed that 5.3 million voters supported keeping Newsom in office, while 2.5 million Californians voted in favor of his removal.
In remarks Tuesday evening at the California Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento, Newsom said it “appears we are enjoying an overwhelmingly ‘no’ vote here tonight.”
— Major Garrett (@MajorCBS) September 15, 2021
“But no is not the only thing that was expressed tonight,” Newsom said. “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, we said yes to people’s right to vote without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression.”
“I am humbled and grateful to the millions, and millions of Californians who exercised their fundamental right to vote, and express themselves so overwhelmingly by rejecting the division,” Newsom went on to add.
The September 14 recall election was triggered after a petition to remove Newsom received more than 1.6 million verified signatures — a sign of Californians’ frustration with the first-term governor over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the state’s homelessness and drug epidemics and exorbitant cost of living.
Californians had been voting early for weeks; nearly 40 percent of registered voters had already cast ballots before Tuesday’s election, with Democratic ballots outnumbering Republican ballots two to one. Yet Republicans were expected to overwhelmingly vote in-person, rather than by mail.
Polling had suggested Newsom was unlikely to be recalled. The governor’s recall would have been a deep upset for Democrats in
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