WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Conservatives had rallied to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election.
- But Newsom held onto his seat at the deep blue state as polls closed late Tuesday night.
- Despite early predictions of Newsom’s win, his opponent, conservative radio host Larry Elder, echoed former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated election fraud claims.
California recently held a recall election for the gubernatorial seat, but Gov. Gavin Newsom survived the vote as predicted.
Newsom needed 50 percent of the vote to hold onto his seat. As of late Tuesday, Newsom was up by a 2-1 margin with 60 percent of the votes counted.
Since no prominent Democrat entered the race, conservative radio host Larry Elder became the GOP’s frontrunner to replace Newsom if the governor were to be recalled.
With Elder echoing similar statements as former President Donald Trump, such as making election fraud claims, Newsom made his campaign seem like a run against Trumpism, despite him not being in office anymore.
President Joe Biden also said about Elder on Monday, “He’s a clone of Donald Trump—can you imagine him being governor of this state? You can’t let that happen.”
California has been a deep blue state, and Republicans haven’t won a statewide contest since Arnold Schwarzenegger. Newsom easily won in 2018, and most polls also predicted his win on Tuesday.
Still, Elder and his supporters tried to cast doubt on the integrity of the election.
On Monday afternoon, the site posted a disclaimer that Elder’s campaign was funneling money into the page.
When Elder cast his own early ballot last week, he told reporters that he believed “there might very well be shenanigans” in the election.
“Let’s all work together to find out whether or not the election tomorrow is a fair election,” he said during an NBC News interview.
On Tuesday night, he told his supporters to be “gracious in defeat” but added, “we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.”
The gubernatorial recall election was only the state’s second one. In 2003, the state recalled and replaced Democrat Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Conservatives had rallied to replace Newsom over growing criticism against strict pandemic-related mandates.
In a victory speech Tuesday night, Newsom listed several issues that his campaign championed throughout the years, such as defending women’s rights, diversity, inclusion, and pluralism.
“We said yes to science. We said yes to vaccines. We said yes to ending this pandemic. We said yes to people’s right to vote without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression. … We said yes to all those things that we hold dear as Californians and I would argue, as Americans,” he declared.
He then blamed “the former president” for Elder’s claims that “this election was rigged,” as well as “the voting suppression efforts” being implemented in Republican states.
Source: Yahoo! News