California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms Republicans caught in California's recall trap Two of Newsom's four children test positive for COVID-19 MORE took a victory lap on Tuesday after voters rejected an effort to recall him from the governor’s mansion, casting his win as a rejection of “the negativity that’s defined our politics in this country over the course of so many years.”
In remarks delivered in Sacramento minutes after he was declared the winner of the recall election, Newsom said that with his victory, Californians had voted to safeguard democracy, taking a swipe at his main Republican opponent, conservative radio host Larry Elder, and former President Trump, who had raised baseless claims of fraud ahead of the Tuesday vote.
“Democracy is not football. You don’t throw it around,” Newsom said. “It’s more like an antique vase. You can drop it and smash it in a million different pieces. And that’s what we’re capable of doing if we don’t stand up and push back.”
“We may have defeated Trump,” he added, “but Trumpism is not dead in this country.”
California voters went to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether Newsom should remain in the governor’s mansion for at least another year. Recent polling had shown most voters rejecting the recall effort — a finding validated by the early election results.
With just about 60 percent of the vote reported, nearly 67 percent of voters chose to keep Newsom as governor. Only about a third — 33 percent — voted to boot him out of office.
Newsom’s remarks on Tuesday echoed his rhetoric in the weeks leading up to the recall election, which he cast as a Republican power grab by conservatives aligned with Trump.
Newsom touted his victory as a sign that Californians were on his side when it came to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, women’s reproductive rights and voting rights, among other issues.
“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 said.