On Sept. 14, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom defeated a GOP-backed effort to remove him from office, media outlets reported.
Speaking from Sacramento, Newsom thanked Californians for rejecting the recall effort, according to CNN.com . He also addressed the divisions in the country, describing democracy like an "antique vase," adding, "You can drop it and smash it in a million different pieces. And that's what we're capable of doing if we don't stand up to meet the moment and push back."
Larry Elder the leading Republican replacement and one of 46 candidate who qualified to have their name listed in the race to replace the governorsaid, "Let's be gracious in defeat," but also stated (hinting at another run in the regularly scheduled gubernatorial race next year), "By the way, we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war." Transgender Republican candidate Caitlyn Jenner slammed Newsom, saying he "didn't campaign on not one of his successes, because he doesn't have any," and then criticized those who voted against the recall, according to Yahoo! News. With 62 percent of the ballots tabulated, Jenner had received 1.2 percent of the vote.
Newsom has long been a champion of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2004, he gained national attention when he directed the San Francisco clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, violating state law. Later, the California Supreme Court of California annulled the marriages Newsom had authorized.
Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur said in a media statement, "Tonight, we have defeated the anti-LGBTQ+, anti-abortion, anti-immigrant, anti-science and anti-worker Republican Recall. We have affirmed our California values and our support for Gavin Newsom, the most pro-equality governor in California history, and his tireless efforts to build a California for all.
"LGBTQ+ Californians12% of registered voters in the Golden Stateand our pro-equality allies played a decisive role in this resounding victory.
"We stood with Governor Newsom because he has always stood with usno matter the personal or political consequences. He has signed groundbreaking legislation to support the health and well-being of transgender Californians; expanded access to life-saving HIV prevention medications; enacted new gun safety measures and police reforms; created more housing for people experiencing homelessness than any governor in historyand put a stop to California's racist, anti-LGBTQ+ death penalty. He is working every day against difficult odds to keep our families safe, protect families from eviction and provide billions of dollars in relief to working families and small businesses."
It was the first recall election in 18 years in California. The previous time, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger succeeded Democrat Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis Jr.