With the once presidential hopeful Andrew Cuomo forced to resign after numerous sexual harassment claims, the Democratic party had no other option than to rally behind California Governor Gavin Newsom as he faced a recall election. Through around-the-clock marketing, public relations, and appearances from Vice President Kamala Harris and even the President himself, Joe Biden, Newsom was able to defeat the recall, beat GOP frontrunner Larry Elder, and retain his position as Governor of California – for now. 


Although the polls projected a close race, Newsom took an early lead that only seemed to grow with each passing hour. With California already being a mostly Democratic state, the Republicans knew the fight to gain control would be hard. As Newsom defeated his challenger, he made sure to point out that his leadership during the pandemic was to thank. “‘No’ is not the only thing that was expressed tonight. I want to focus on what we said ‘yes’ to as a state: We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to ending this pandemic.”

Making him only the second Governor to ward off a recall election in U.S. history, Newsom has now become the new prominent figure in the Democratic party. Still, Newsom said, “Democracy is not a football. You don’t throw it around. It’s more like — I don’t know — an antique vase. You can drop it, smash it into a million different pieces — and that’s what we’re capable of doing if we don’t stand up to meet the moment and push back.”


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As for Elder, he was hoping for the chance to lead California into a new era but graciously understood the voice of the people. While he knows his voters are upset, he said, “Let’s be gracious in defeat. We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.” 

While Elder may have lost the recall election, he praised the efforts of his campaign, party, and voters. He said that by calling for the recall, the Democrats had been forced to focus on key issues surrounding the state, like homelessness and the extremely high cost of basic living. 

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