A recall election for California Governor, Gavin Newsom, will take place on Sept. 14, 2021. This comes after the recall campaign was launched in June of 2020 and received 1,719,943 signatures in order to have an election take place, making this recall election the fourth gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history, and the second in Californian history.
Newsom has been California’s Governor for the past two years after having assumed office in 2019. Newsom’s campaign was founded on the principles of creating a “single payer health care system, a ‘Marshall Plan’ for housing, universal preschool and more.” While Newsom has fulfilled some of those promises, such as moving toward universal preschool, there are some individuals who have criticized Newsom for the lack of change. Over the course of the pandemic, both Republicans and Democrats have questioned the manner in which the pandemic was handled. This is one of the driving factors behind the recall movement.
According to BallotPedia.org, the ballot will present voters with two questions: “Should Newsom be recalled as the California governor?” and “Who should replace Newsom as the California Governor?” Voters would then fill in one of the 46 candidates running for governor. The first question will require a majority vote in order to recall Newsom, and the individual with the most votes will take his place. The Newsom team is pushing California voters to vote ‘No’ on the ballot, but, more importantly, to skip the second question and not write in a replacement.
While some of the opponents have been looked over by the public, there have been a few to stand out in the polls. Famous radio host, Larry Elder (Republican), has been labeled as the “forerunner” in the election and presents a “threat,” as he leads the other candidates in the recall. Elder is a South Central Native and has gained popularity by voicing his opinions on issues such as the gender wage gap, affirmative action, and gun control. These ideas have been labeled as “radical” not only by the Newsom Campaign, but also Californian Republicans. Elder has made his ideas very clear, which consist of lifting masks and vaccine mandates in the state of California, which many would argue backtracks all the work that has been done so far to combat the pandemic.
Kevin Paffrath (Democrat) is better-known as a YouTuber with over 1.7 million subscribers, and is currently the top-polling democrat in the recall election. He has stated that he is a “JFK-style Democrat” and has vowed to tackle the homeless issue in California by converting commercial buildings into homeless shelters. In a recent debate, Paffrath called for “filtration systems in California buildings to protect against COVID-19 and proposed a pipeline to the Mississippi River to address California’s drought.” While Paffrath has never held a public office, he believes that he is one of the few candidates who could beat Larry Elder.
It is important to note that opponents would not need a majority of votes to win, but rather more votes than any other candidate to beat out Newsom. Due to this, the Newsom campaign is reaching out to Californians urging them to vote and to stop a “Republican agenda.” Any individual who is a registered voter in California can participate in this election. 29 days before the election, every active registered voter will be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot. If not enough people vote in the recall election, California could get a new governor.
Featured Image: Courtesy of SFGATE