The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, faces a recall referendum after a campaign organized by supporters of the Republican Party who criticize among other things his management during the pandemic. If he is removed, 46 candidates seek to replace him.
From very early on Tuesday, September 14, Californians began casting their vote in a recall election for California Governor Gavin Newsom, who becomes the fourth governor in United States history and the second in California to face an election. for their removal.
The vote will define whether Newsom is removed or not and is organized before the 2022 midterm elections, when control of Congress and more than half of the governorates are at stake.
The reason for the campaign is because some Republicans were upset with the measures the Democrat took during the worst moment of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as closing all of California and forcing people to stay home for several months. . In addition, they criticize him for his focus on crime, homelessness, favoring illegal immigrants over American citizens, and too high taxes.
If removed, the leading candidate to replace Newsom is ultra-conservative radio host Larry Elder, who has 38% support in voting intent. He is followed by Democrat Kevin Paffrath with 10%, former Republican Mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, with 8% and businessman and former Republican candidate for Governor John Cox, with 4%. Transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner is also on the list of candidates.
Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor and California lieutenant governor, was elected in 2018 with 62% of the vote, a higher proportion than any other Democratic governor in the state’s history.
Californians vote in a divided election
Behind the California Governor’s impeachment campaign is a former Deputy Sheriff Orrin Heatlie and a group called the ‘California Patriot Coalition’. They, along with several Republicans who follow the hard line marked by former United States President Donald Trump, began the campaign in February 2020 to remove Gavin Newsom from office.
The Republicans who launched the recall process did so against one of the biggest opponents of the Trump Administration’s policies. By collecting 1,495,709 signatures, Newsom’s critics succeeded in opening a vote that required the signatures of the equivalent of 12% of the votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election.
On the ballot that is voted on Tuesday, citizens are asked two questions: Should Newsom retire? (yes or no) and who should replace it? The results of the second question only matter if the majority wants to remove the governor.
After the voters decide if they want to remove the politician, they must choose a replacement on the same ballot. In total, there are 46 candidates and they must choose one. If more than 50% choose to end Newsom’s term, then the replacement candidate with the most votes to succeed him, even less than the majority, becomes governor.
In the voting centers, opinions are divided this Tuesday. “I am a small business owner and for the last year I was considered nonessential. So they closed me down, whereas in other states I could have been operating,” said Neel Sodha, a Californian who came early to vote. “So I was excited about the withdrawal and I voted to remove Newsom,” he added.
While some complain about the administration of the Democrat during the pandemic, others, on the other hand, support him. “I came here today because I want California to not have this Republican takeover. I am disgusted by some of the Republican candidates and what is happening in our country, so I want to support Gavin Newsom. And I voted no,” said a supporter of the current governor of California.
The controversial Larry Elder, favorite in the polls
If Gavin Newsom were to be revoked from office, his most likely successor would be Larry Elder, a radio host and ultra-conservative lawyer.
Polls show Elder topping the list of 46 candidates running to replace Newsom. In all, there are 24 Republicans, 9 Democrats, and 13 who are from other movements or nonpartisan.
“Calling me a radio host who supports Trump is a bit unfair. Call me a person who supports Mitt Romney or George Herbert Walker Bush. I’m a Republican,” Elder told CNN.
The candidate, known for his misogynistic phrases, has accused women of exaggerating sexism and has hinted that those who participated in a march against Trump in 2017 were “too unattractive to be sexually assaulted.”
With ., AP and local media