Newsom’s Recall Fails


Gigi Hanner

After holding a special recall election on September 14th, California voters have moved to keep Governor Gavin Newsom in office until the next election on November 8th, 2022. Newsom earned 63.5% of the vote, meaning the recall has failed, and Newsom will keep his position.

This is a particularly surprising turn of events, as only one governor faced a recall election in California. Newsom is only the fifth to face this in American history. Only one recall election ever led to an actual replacement of governor. In 2003, when Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced Gray Davis. 

The petition to recall Newsom was introduced before the pandemic, in February of 2020. The list of original grievances included immigration, property taxes, and more. But after the pandemic began, the grievances changed slightly to cater towards Newsom’s handling of the pandemic.

There were critics on both sides of the aisle, either saying he was too slow to lift restrictions, or that he moved too fast. Those who thought he went too fast did not like the lack of enforcement for those who didn’t follow restrictions. Then, in November 2020, Newsom attended a party violating the very restrictions he’d put in place. 

1.6 million Californians signed the petition to begin the official recall efforts. The candidates on the list for potentially replacing Newsom were primarily republican, and included a wide variety of people. Larry Elder, a radio host, and Caitlyn Jenner, a celebrity and former Olympic athlete, were both on the ticket.

But since Newsom won, California will stay democratic for at least the next year.