Governor Newsom’s Retention in the Recall Election Was Necessary For California’s Political Security

Lulu Horne, Staff Reporter

California’s gubernatorial election took place on September 14 of this year, and while Gavin Newsom’s retention served as an upset to some, it was the necessary outcome for the security of California and the nation. 

Supporters of Gavin Newsom set up anti-recall signs at one of the Governors rallies in Los Angeles. Many voters stood with Newsom at this rally, supporting his remain in office. (Photo taken from the New York Times)

Some of Newsom’s actions over the last few years of his term were controversial, the main spark of this recall election being his breaking of the COVID-19 Protocols that he instituted. While this action may speak against his character, this grievance pales in comparison to the negative traits of Newsom’s potential replacements.

The leading opponent in the recall election was Larry Elder, a libertarian talk show host turned candidate whose views are immensely misaligned with those of the state. 

California’s voter registration stands at 46.2% Democrat and 24.1% Republican, and this large democratic majority is often reflected in the state’s views. 59% of the state is fully vaccinated and another 13% have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a percentage that reflects the left lean in the state.

Elder opposes mask and vaccine mandates, making claims against both in an interview with CNN.

“I don’t believe the science suggests that young people should be vaccinated. I don’t believe the science suggests that young people should have to wear masks at school.” Elder said.

Governor Gavin Newsom at a rally to urge voters to vote no in the recall election. Newsom was successful in his efforts, winning with over 60% of the vote on September 14th. (Photo taken from CNBC)

Despite Elder’s claims, evidence of the effectiveness of vaccines and masks is clear.

“Vaccines available in the United States are highly effective at protecting against the coronavirus, including the delta variant.” claims the CDC

Even though vaccines have been shown to protect against COVID-19, less than half of the United States population is fully vaccinated 

“When a person gets infected who has been vaccinated…and they get infected with the delta variant…those individuals can and have transmitted the virus to uninfected individuals.” Anthony Fauci, MD, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said. 

High-performing masks such as N95 or KF94 are essential in ensuring the safety of unvaccinated and breakthrough Americans.

Elder’s false claims against vaccines and masks could prove dangerous to easily influenced voters who would take this advice against the urges of scientific professionals. 

President Joseph Biden campaigns with Gavin Newsom leading up to the recall election. Biden’s support of Newsom helped many voters solidify their voting decisions. (Photo taken from BBC)

Along with a general pro-vaccine attitude, the state is also vital when it comes to environmental issues. Elder believes that global warming is a myth, and opposes many of California’s ambitious and nationally impactful climate policies. As governor he would have had the power to veto vital environmental policies, potentially damaging the state’s history of strong environmental law that is necessary for combating climate change. 

One of the greatest concerns surrounding Elder’s beliefs is his history of not supporting issues important to the majority of the Black community.

“Whatever the issues are where the Black community rallies together, he goes out of his way to be on the other side. That’s just who Larry Elder is.” Kerman Maddox, a political consultant opposed to Elder’s run for governor, said.

“His thinking is so far out of the mainstream, I would tell people, ‘Don’t pay attention to the guy.’ People like that crave attention,” Maddox continued.

Maddox’s main concerns lie with how Elder would tackle Black Californian’s issues and where his priorities lie.

“What bothers me is that Larry gives comfort to the people who are white supremacists, or who don’t believe racism exists.” 

As a majority Democratic state, Maddox worries that Elder’s election would set back the Black community and many progressive policies.

“If a guy like this wins in a blue state like California, can you imagine what role he plays nationally in 2022?”  Maddox said.

Vice President Kamala Harris campaigns with Newsom to vote no on the recall election. She hoped to send a message to voters to support Newsom in the final days of the election. (Photo taken from CNN)

Elder holds many other radical Conservative ideals that would pose a danger to Californian constituents. His opposition to gun control laws and Roe v. Wade goes against the ideals of the state, and his election would have been detrimental to California’s progress. 

The original petition for a recall election began in June of 2020 and was started by Californians who were unhappy with Newsom’s COVID-19 response and other actions. In the lead-up to this year’s September election, $276 million taxpayer and state dollars were poured into the recall efforts, but in the end, Newsom secured a win with 61.9% of the vote. 

This huge cost does not even take into account the large amount of money spent on the individual campaigns of the candidates. 

With Newsom already three years into his term, the decision of his opposers to waste so many millions of dollars was illogical and took up time that Newsom could have devoted to advancing the needs of his constituents. 

This recall election was unnecessary and wasteful in many ways, but despite that waste, the security of Newsom’s governorship is vital to the security and progress of California.