What the Governor Recall Would’ve Meant For Americans

California has been adjusting to the ‘new normal’ dealing with Covid-19, but the controversy of that could have caused a change in leadership. While Governor Newsom is still in office, there was a time when California prepared to move in a different direction. 


The governor recall happened on Sep. 14 and was made to decide whether or not Governor Newsom should be removed from office. Results from the recall were that 62.8% or voters said no to recalling Newsom and 37.3% voted yes. This meant that he would keep his place until next year when he will have to re-run for governor.   


”I am humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote,” Newsom said, “We [have] so much more in common in our state than we give ourselves credit for.” (NPR)


Even though Newsom won, there still were millions of people who voted against him. 


There were 46 candidates on the ballot to replace Newsom, majority being Republicans. The 46 candidates consist of 24 Republicans, nine Democrats, one Libertarian, two Green Party members, and ten with no party preference listed. The runner up candidates were Larry Elder, Kevin Paffrath, and Kevin Faulconer. 


Coming in second was Larry Elder, who is a conservative radio talk show host. On his campaign website, Elder had some very strong views and opinions about governor Newsom. He many times called Newsom bad things such as arrogant, doofi, scum, corrupt, and radical. His website also stated that his plans included doing tasks that Newsom has failed at, such as limiting violent crime by not releasing any prisoners, stopping homelessness, cutting costs of homes, and many other things. 


Even though he had a plan for good change, there were also some controversial views he had for California if he became governor. Elder’s plans to solve homelessness and crime might sound great, but a part of those plans did include possibly getting rid of minimum wage, getting rid of tuition breaks for in-state college students, and the most contentious: ending mask and vaccine mandates. The other Republican runner up, Kevin Faulconer, like Elder, has similar views about ending masks and vaccine mandates.   


Kevin Faulconer came in third in the runner up’s, but was the second Republican in the top three behind Newsom. He is the former mayor of San Diego and was in office from 2014-2020. His main take on Newsom is that he is showing the leadership that California needs. 


“My one goal is continuing to get out my message of someone who’s ready to lead, has the experience, and will actually bring real solutions to California,” he said, “Somebody who knows how to bring people together.” (NY Times)


If he became governor, he had the most plans out of all the runner ups. His different plans that Elder and Paffrath didn’t focus on were doubling wildfire prevention, boosting state funding for schools, and adding new reservoirs and water recycling plants to fix California’s water supply.


Faulconer has had experience in the government which did set him apart from other candidates, but like Elder, he had some other views that made him a harder candidate to choose. He opposed mask and vaccine mandates. Even though he encouraged vaccines, he didn’t agree with mandating them. Faulconer also opposed efforts to defund the police and the early release program for prisoners. With the year 2020 was, it isn’t hard to see why these opposing views caused some conflict. 


The only Democrat runner up was Kevin Paffrath, who came in second. Paffrath is a real estate broker, financial analyst, and youtuber with 1.7 million followers. His thoughts about Newsom were that he spends too much money and doesn’t agree with his anti-recall campaign. The main plans he had for California was to create future schools that pay students, reduce crime, reduce homelessness, and reduce the cost of living. 


“The reason I think folks are frustrated is: we pay our taxes, then we look up to see what our government is doing for us with the services we’re paying for,” Paffrath said, “And we see people dying on the street. We see blight. That’s why people are leaving.” (CNBC)


Unlike Elder, Paffrath had no plans to make changes to Covid mandates and planned to promote vaccinations with social media and send masks to all households.


In this governor recall, there was much at stake including the seriousness of who would replace Newsom. No matter what someone’s political party was, it wouldn’t have changed the fact that if the recall would have happened, California would have gone through serious change.