Gov. Newsom soundly defeats recall effort


Noah David '22

Registered voters in California received a ballot asking whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should be recalled.

Santino Woo ’22, A&E Editor

Since February of 2020, a select group of California citizens put all their energy and effort into signing recall petitions to vote out current governor, Gavin Newsom. The recall election was held on Sept. 14 and 62 percent of the total votes agreed to keep Newsom as governor. 

But first, it is important to review how we got here, as there were several issues that led up to this recall. 

Since his election in 2018, some California residents have not agreed with some of the policies and beliefs and regulations Governor Newsom stands by. These citizens believe his laws favor illegal immigrants. 

In addition, California has the highest homelessness and tax rate in the nation under Governor Newsom, which consequently leads to a lower quality of life. Furthermore, Californians claim Newsom removed protections from Proposition 13, a California bill regarding property tax. 

The Ingleside Library on Ocean Avenue, a few blocks from Riordan, was open for voters to cast their ballots in person or drop off completed ones. (Joseph Zuloaga ’23)

Despite all of the critical assessments from citizens, the strong and forceful surge for recalling Gavin Newsom came during the Coronavirus pandemic when he attended a birthday party in November of 2020 at French Laundry, an exclusive restaurant in Yountville, California. Newsom had been promoting masks and social distancing during this time; Californians were outraged over Newsom’s hypocrisy. This was the culmination of all the built up anger and disapproval from Californians that set forth a movement to recall the governor.   


In November of 2020, the effort to recall Governor Newsom intensified. In order for a recall ballot to be valid, twelve percent of voters from the previous election and voters from five different counties must sign petitions. The ballot must have a total of 1,495,709 valid signatures. On April 26, it was announced that the recall campaign gathered 1,626, 042 signatures, which was more than enough to begin the recall process.

Several candidates arose in attempts to replace Governor Newsom, one of which was Larry Elder, who was the leading candidate to replace the Governor. Elder is a conservative-minded lawyer who promised to cut back on vaccination and mask mandates, as he believes young people do not need to be vaccinated because they cannot get COVID-19. He firmly disbelieves the issue of climate change exists and consistently claims the California wildfires are completely unrelated to the issue. 

The abundant amount of candidates and angry Californians brought up the question: Could Gavin Newsom actually be replaced? 

The people of California need to understand that this recall will play a much bigger role than imagined.

— Joshua Kao '22

Archbishop Riordan senior, Joshua Kao, did not believe so as he stated before the election, “Since the 1992 Presidential election, the political climate of California has been predominantly Democratic. The state requires a governor who is capable of representing the majority of the state population’s interests. From a personal perspective, this would not be possible with a Republican/Conservative governor in the public office.”

He added, “It is easy to place immediate blame on a governor through ongoing events, such as the COVID 19 reaction of the state government. However, the people of California need to understand that this recall will play a much bigger role than imagined.” 

Turns out, Kao’s prediction was correct, and Gavin Newsom will keep his job in office.

Social Science teacher, David Elu, commented on what this means for the state of California and Gavin Newsom moving forward.  He said, “…I don’t know that it is necessarily something that Newsom can ride into the California election, but he does have talking points now. And he is going to use those talking points in how he defeated Larry Elder. And so, if Elder is going to run, he is going to have a big job ahead of him.”

In response to his defining win, Gov. Newsom tweeted, “Tonight, California voted NO on the recall and YES to…Science. Women’s rights. Immigrant rights. The minimum wage. The environment. Our future. We rejected cynicism and bigotry and chose hope and progress. Thank you, California.”