Californians handily voted against recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom during Tuesday’s election, according to preliminary results.
With more than 94 precent of precincts statewide partially reporting as of 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, about 64.2 percent of voters statewide were choosing not to recall Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco and the state’s lieutenant governor before being elected governor in 2018.
The preliminary results appear to have surpassed the more than 50 percent of “no” votes needed in order for Newsom, a Democrat, to stay in office through the end of his term, which ends Jan. 2, 2023, unless he wins re-election.
During Tuesday’s election, voters were also asked to choose one of 46 candidates to replace Newsom, in the case that the recall was successful. In that race, Republican candidate and conservative radio host Larry Elder managed to get the most votes, with about 46.5 percent so far.
The Bay Area, which leans heavily Democratic, voted overwhelmingly against the recall, with margins ranging from about 2-to-1 in Solano County to as large as 5-to-1 in San Francisco, Marin and Alameda counties.
Around the state, as of 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, ballots representing about 41.3 percent of registered voters had so far been tallied in the recall election — a figure that seemed on a somewhat lower pace than the 64.5 percent turnout for the Nov. 6, 2018, gubernatorial election in which Newsom defeated John Cox to win his current term.
Newsom acknowledged the win, issuing a statement on Twitter.
“Tonight, California voted NO on the recall and YES to… Science. Women’s rights. Immigrant rights. The minimum wage. The environment. Our future. We rejected cynicism and bigotry and chose hope and progress. Thank you, California,” he wrote.
Tonight, California voted NO on the recall and YES to…— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 15, 2021
The minimum wage.
We rejected cynicism and bigotry and chose hope and progress.
Thank you, California.
He added, “Now let’s get back to work.”
According to the labor union Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, which helped organize anti-recall campaign efforts, Newsom’s victory sends a strong message.
“Tonight we showed the nation that the right-wing extremists and billionaires who wanted to undermine our state’s democracy cannot overcome the power of working people,” SEIU Local 99 Executive Director and SEIU California Executive Board Member Max Arias said in a statement.
“Working people knew we had to vanquish the threat of the recall in order to make progress addressing other dangers facing our state — from the pandemic to the daunting challenges of climate change, racism, and inequality,” Arias continued. “Thousands of SEIU workers and our partners in labor and community organizations worked tirelessly to defeat this recall and show the rest of the country that when workers stand together to fight for what’s right, we can move our nation forward.”
Two state leaders from the Bay Area on Tuesday announced plans to fix the state’s recall systems, calling it “broken.” Both Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, and Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, said they will discuss their plans in-depth on Wednesday morning.
Berman is chair of the Assembly Committee on Elections while Glazer is the chair of the Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments.
The recall election became official back in July after retired Yolo County sheriff’s Sgt. Orrin Heatlie, along with Republican organizers, managed to get the more than 1,700,000 signatures needed statewide to get the recall in front of voters.