Voters in the western US state of California go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to remove Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom in a recall election.
US President Joe Biden also joined Newsom at a final campaign rally in the southern city of Long Beach late Monday, urging Democrats to run in the polls and reject the recall.
“The eyes of the nation are on California,” President Biden told the crowd, “because the decision you’re going to make won’t have a huge impact on California, it’s going to resonate across the country, and quite frankly, around the world.” I’m not joking.’
The recall was triggered by Republicans angered by Newsom’s strict COVID-19 rules, which included school closures and restrictions on small businesses such as bars and restaurants. Organizers secured enough signatures of registered voters to force a recall on the ballot.
Californians are being asked to vote yes or no to remove Newsom from office. If enough voters select “yes”, the candidate with a simple majority will replace Newsom. Voter opinion polls show that Larry Elder, a staunchly conservative radio talk show host, is the leading candidate among more than 40 heiress to serve the remainder of Newsom’s term, which expires next year.
Newsom is a prominent figure among national Democrats, having previously served as mayor of the city of San Francisco and lieutenant governor of California before being elected governor in 2018. His defeat in a state dominated by Democrats could signal bigger problems for Biden and Congressional Democrats. In next year’s mid-term legislative elections. But recent polls show Newsom with a solid lead in the campaign.
He is the second governor of California to face a recall vote. Democrat Gray Davis was ousted for the first time in 2003 and popular Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was installed.
Democrats are running. YouTube creator Kevin Pfarth is the most famous of the nine Democrats who are on the ballot.