Newsom easily beats back recall effort in California

California voters soundly rejected an attempt to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday in an historic rebuke that amounted to a ratification of Newsom’s aggressive approach to combatting the coronavirus pandemic.

With 59 percent of the vote tallied in an election conducted almost entirely through the mail, just 33 percent of voters supported recalling Newsom; the Associated Press projected the recall would fail.

“I want to focus on what we said yes to as a state,” Newsom said in remarks after the election results were called. “We said yes to science. We said yes to vaccines. We said yes to ending this pandemic. We said to people’s right to vote without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression.”

“I’m humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote and expressed themselves so overwhelmingly by rejecting the division by rejecting the cynicism, by rejecting so much of the negativity that’s defined our politics in this country over the course of so many years,” he continued.

Supporters of the recall gathered more than 2.1 million signatures to force an election, after a state judge granted them an extension because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic, and the lockdowns Newsom ordered, fueled the anger that bolstered the signature-gathering efforts.

But Newsom’s response to the pandemic also undergirded a summer rebound that led to his victory.

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