After a wildly expensive recall election, Gavin Newsom will remain governor of California, despite a push from conservative Republicans -- primarly Larry Elder -- to remove him.
According to The New York Times, more than 64 percent of Califnornians voted no on the recall.
Newsom said during last night’s victory speech, which was called at 8:46 p.m. PDT; "No is not the only thing that was expressed tonight. We said yes to science. We said yes to vaccines. We said yes to ending this pandemic. Tonight I'm humble, grateful, but resolved in the spirit of my political hero Robert Kennedy to make more gentle the light of this world.”
CNN reports the election cost California $276 million, according to the state's Department of Finance.
Elder, a conservative radio host and the GOP’s top choice to replace Newsom, begrudgingly admitted defeat.
In his concession speech, Elder told his supporters to “stay tuned,” adding that the battle was lost “but we are going to win the war,” according to the Associated Press.
The recall centered on Newsom’s support of wearing masks and vaccine mandates as key tools to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also a test of whether the brand of politics heralded by former president Donald Trump could make inroads in the nation’s most populous state that leans Democratic, as the critical midterm elections loom on the horizon.
Newsom got backing from the Democratic political machine, already strong in the heavily blue state. Visits from President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and others sent a message of pushing back against “Trumpism” and also anti-vaccine activists and other far-right narratives.
“I’m humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote and express themselves so overwhelmingly by rejecting the division, by rejecting the cynicism, rejecting so much of the negativity that’s defined our politics in this country over the course of so many years,” Newsom told supporters Tuesday night.