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COSTA MESA, California — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has easily survived an effort to recall him, thwarting an attempt to boot the Democrat from office early.
Networks called the race within 45 minutes of polls closing, with enough mailed and early-counted ballots to tip the race strongly in Newsom's direction. The first batch of results showed Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor and lieutenant governor, claiming more than 60% of the vote statewide, and figures from early Wednesday morning showed him with 63.9% of the vote. However, that margin could narrow as same-day votes, which usually favor Republicans, are tallied.
Critics said Newsom must go because of the state's myriad of problems, including water and power shortages, a broken education system, skyrocketing crime, and a homelessness epidemic. Democrats have full control of the state government, and recall supporters have made Newsom, who was overwhelmingly elected governor in 2018, the focus of their blame.
Larry Elder, a Republican and talk radio show host in Los Angeles, was the leading candidate to replace Newsom if more than half the electorate chose to recall him. If elected, Elder promised to overhaul those policy areas — and more.
“We ran a good, hard, strong campaign,” Elder told the Washington Examiner. “I know that Californians, Democrats, independents, and Republicans are fed up with this governor’s two-year tenure. Why? Rising crime, deteriorating quality of our public education — half of third-graders cannot read at state levels of proficiency — and a more draconian shutdown of the economy compared to the other 49 states.”
Republican conservative radio show host Larry Elder speaks after losing the California gubernatorial recall election Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Costa Mesa, Calif. The rare, late-summer election, which challenged California Gov. Gavin Newsom, emerged as a national battlefront on issues from COVID-19 restrictions to climate change. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) Ashley Landis/AP
Elder also mentioned the state’s refusal to update the power grid and water infrastructure to alleviate drought, along with other policy concerns.
“We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war," he told supporters, adding, "I decided to run because I felt I could do something about the crime, the homelessness."
Elder, who is black, criticized critical race theory and the notion that the United States is a racist country. He did not say whether he will pursue public office again in the future.
Before the polls closed, California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, one of two Republican elected officials on the ballot, lauded the recall movement of Newsom.
FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2020, file photo, demonstrators shout slogans while carrying a sign calling for a recall on Gov. Gavin Newsom during a protest against a stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Huntington Beach, Calif. Gov. Newsom is facing a possible recall election as the nation's most populous state struggles to emerge from the coronavirus crisis. Organizers say they have collected more than half of the nearly 1.5 million petition signatures needed to place the recall on the ballot. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
“It has the potential to truly set us on a whole new course to restore integrity to the government and power to the people,” Kiley told the Washington Examiner.
Still, the recall effort was a daunting task for supporters, with Democrats in California holding a nearly 2 to 1 edge in voter registration over Republicans, per the secretary of state's office.
Voting was underway for two weeks before Election Day through both mail-in ballots and in-person voting centers. Orange County, once a Republican stronghold but has since backed Democratic presidential candidates in 2016 and 2020, saw lines forming at many voting centers beginning Monday.
Huntington Beach, one of its four polling centers had a carnival-like energy as music blared and voters chanted, “Larry! Larry!” About 200 people stood in a line that snaked around the building and down a sidewalk.
According to Carl DeMaio, a recall organizer and founder of the Reform California PAC, a total of 22.3 million ballots were mailed as of Tuesday morning.
Orrin Heatlie, chairman of the California Patriot Coalition to Recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, said he worked nonstop leading up to the election to combat voter apathy that exists largely due to claims of voter fraud. No major fraud has been found.
“If people lose faith and confidence that their vote won’t count, I think they just won’t waste their time,” Heatlie said. “That’s one of the biggest problems we have, people who aren’t voting.”
With few exceptions, liberal pressure groups have lost lawsuits in state after state, with courts tossing out their faux claims that ID laws are discriminatory, unconstitutional or suppress minority voting. (iStock)
The recall effort has enlisted election law attorney Mark Meuser to monitor voter fraud allegations. He receives and investigates all complaints sent to the California Republican Party. A team of attorneys is in place throughout the state to respond to problems at polling places.
So far, Meuser said he has not seen any valid fraud complaints. A precinct in Los Angeles that recorded voters as already casting a ballot was a software glitch that has been fixed, he said.
Ironically, Newsom may have actually benefited from the voter fraud claims, Meuser said.
“Yesterday, I did a Facebook Live show about how Gavin Newsom’s secret weapon is voter suppression, causing people to believe there is no integrity in the system and people do not get out and vote,” Meuser said. “That is how he wins.”
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Original Author: Tori Richards
Original Location: California Gov. Gavin Newsom rebuffs recall effort and keeps office