Should Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, Be Recalled?

Dayana Sabatin
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

A recall election seeking to remove California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be taking place on September 14, 2021.

The recall election will present voters with two questions.

The first one is going to ask whether Newsom should be recalled from the office of governor.

The second will ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question for the governor to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required.

46 candidates including 9 Democrats and 24 Republicans, are running in the election. The candidates to receive the most media attention and perform best in polls so far are as follows:

- Kevin Paffrath, YouTuber

- John Cox, radio host

- Larry Elder, former San Diego Mayor

- Kevin Faulconer, California State Board of Equalization member

- Ted Gaines, former Olympian and television personality

- Caitlyn Jenner, TV star

- Kevin Kiley, Assemblyman

Recall supporters say Newsom mishandled the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic, did not do enough to address the state's homelessness rate, and supported sanctuary city policies and water rationing.

In a March 2021 response, Newsom called the effort a "Republican recall — backed by the RNC, anti-mask and anti-vax extremists, and pro-Trump forces who want to overturn the last election and have opposed much of what we have done to fight the pandemic."

Newsom and the Democratic Party of California were successful in keeping an experienced Democratic politician off the recall ballot, which was not the case in the 2003 recall.

In 2003, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamente received the second most votes among replacement candidates, and his candidacy was cited by many in the media as a reason for the recall's success, claiming he gave Democratic voters more of a reason to vote to recall the governor.

In this recall election, there is no similar Democratic politician for Democratic voters to coalesce around. Newsom and those campaigning on his behalf have been telling voters to vote "No" on the recall question and leave the replacement candidate question blank.

Newsom was elected as governor in 2018 with 61.9% of the vote. Orrin Heatlie began this recall campaign on June 10, 2020. It was the fifth of six recall petitions filed against Newsom since 2019.

Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis. Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as Davis' replacement.

In that election, 135 candidates ran and the winner received 48.6% of the vote.

Do you think Gavin Newsom should be recalled? Why or why not?

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