California has said a resounding “no”. The most populous state in the United States went to the polls on Tuesday to give oxygen to its governor, Gavin Newsom, for the next 14 months. The 53-year-old Democratic local leader has easily survived a special recall election motivated by supporters of the Republican party. The process originated in April out of dissatisfaction with the handling of the pandemic, but has since become a thermometer of the struggle between progressives and conservatives in a traditional bastion for Democrats. The footprint of former President Donald Trump and several of his supporters, including the leading candidate among the adversaries, the conservative radio host Larry Elder, have stained the elections, alluding to fraud even before the polls were closed.
Nearly seven out of ten people marked their ballot negative, refusing to have Gavin Newsom removed from the Sacramento Capitol. More than 5.5 million voters (66.8%) supported the governor compared to 2.7 million (33%) who called for his removal with 62% of the votes counted. The Californians have thus confirmed that the governor will be able to conclude the mandate that he won widely in 2018 with 62% of the votes. In November 2022, the Democratic promise will be able to aspire to a second term. “’No’ was not the only thing expressed tonight. We said yes to science, yes to vaccines and yes to ending this pandemic, “said the local president from the capital after announcing the results.
Larry Elder, who had positioned himself as the main beneficiary among Newsom’s 46 contenders, stirred the ghosts of doubt in the process since Monday. A page linked to his campaign stated that an analyst firm “had detected fraud” in the elections even before the polls were opened. The method appears to follow the manual used by Trump supporters after the 2020 election. At a rally north of the state on Tuesday morning, Governor Newsom responded. “Those accusations are nonsense. It’s a shame … Politicians like me come and go. We have them a lot. But this is about our institutions, about our country. It is about security and trust ”, he condemned. In the evening, after reporting the “no” victory, former President Trump sent a message criticizing voting by mail, one of the electoral modalities that Republicans seek to restrict in the midst of 2022.
Hours earlier, Theresa Blake, 67, cast her vote in a mailbox outside a public bookstore in downtown Los Angeles. “This is important,” he said, waving the envelope with his right hand. “It is an attempt by the Republicans to seize power,” says the African-American woman, who worked for years in the city’s school district. A Democratic voter for decades, he defends Newsom’s leadership during the pandemic. “Everyone I know in the neighborhood has already been vaccinated. We never lacked even support [económicos] nor vaccines, “he says.
58% of Californians are already fully immunized, while 66% have at least one injection of the biologic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC for its acronym in English) reported this Tuesday, as voters went to the polls, that the rate of transmission is slowing in the state. It is the second territory, after Puerto Rico, that has been downgraded in the health emergency.
Elder, however, represented part of the electorate that is very critical of the measures imposed by Newsom and by President Joe Biden from Washington. The 69-year-old announcer has criticized that the mask and vaccine are mandatory, stating that they should only be the product of personal choice. He also condemned the closure of millions of businesses during the pandemic, an initiative that he deemed unnecessary and slowed down one of the world’s leading economies.
“I think Newsom did not do a bad job as mayor and he is not doing a bad job as governor,” Robert Weber, in San Francisco, told the Associated Press this morning. The 59-year-old man generally votes for the Republican party, but says he doesn’t like Elder and thinks this whole election is “ridiculous.”
Not everyone is so sympathetic to the governor in San Francisco, the city where Newsom served as mayor between 2004 and 2011. A voter reminded the local press this afternoon of the infamous episode of November 2020, when the governor went to the exclusive French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley to celebrate a friend’s birthday lobbyist. The closed-door meeting came amid the stricter measures imposed by Newsom himself during the pandemic and forced the president to give a public apology after the photos went viral. The fact was enough for many opponents of the Democrat to begin gathering the necessary signatures for the recall election. “There he was spending $ 15,000 on a 50-year-old party and at the same time I couldn’t go to a friend’s funeral,” Fresno resident Jeff Kindler told Los Angeles Times. The “no” won in Napa today with 72%. Newsom took 65% in 2018 in that county. The controversy seems to be buried for now.
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