California Democratic governor Gavin Newsom won a ‘recall election‘ vote on Tuesday, multiple US media reports. In doing so, Newsom resisted a Republican campaign to overthrow him over his liberal policies on immigration, Covid-19 and crime fighting.
About two-thirds of voters think Newsom should stay on as governor, preliminary results show. The final result will be announced on October 22.
In his victory speech, Newsom thanked “the millions of Californians who used their right to vote”. California allows voters to hold a referendum on their governor‘s replacement if they can collect the autographs of 12 percent of previous voters. A Republican-backed petition yielded more than 1.6 million signatures in April, sufficient to enforce the referendum. It took about 1.5 million signatures.
Voters were also asked who should become governor in the election should a majority speak out against Newsom’s continued. That vote was won by about 43 percent by 69-year-old Republican Larry Elder, a presenter and supporter of former President Donald Trump, according to The New York Times. Another notable opponent of Newsom was Olympic gold winner and television star Caitlyn Jenner.
Even before the preliminary results were known, Elder published an election fraud hotline. There has been no explanation or evidence of alleged fraud in the state. Trump claimed on Monday, even without substantiation, that California elections are “immensely falsified”. The former president also referred to his own presidential election defeat in the state.
The Newsom recall is the second ever in California. After the first, in 2003, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger came to power. He then took over the baton from Democratic Senator Gray Davis who had been elected for a second term just a year before.
Newsom became Governor of California in 2018 and received more than 62 percent of the vote at the time. In 2022, he will be honouring a second term of office as governor.