California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday reclaimed his own path.
Less than a week after Newsom took office, Republicans launched a recall effort to oust him from office. Newsom won the seat over his Republican opponent John Cox by a convincing 61 percent in November, raising the Democratic governor’s popularity and blocking the Republicans from launching a recall.
The campaign to recall Newsom started just after he joined a gubernatorial leadership team of nine of the state’s top executives. Newsom called on his fellow California governors on August 22 to submit names for the role, a show of solidarity within the Democratic Party.
But the recall effort didn’t stop there. Two weeks later on August 22, the top Republican in the state Assembly, Travis Allen, announced his push to launch the recall.
Cox, the Republican candidate who lost to Newsom, earlier wrote a letter to California Assembly Republicans urging them to withhold their vote for the recall nomination. Cox accused Newsom of mishandling the death of a teen who was run over by a California state government vehicle, while calling for Newsom to immediately release the findings of an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
After Cox’s letter to the assembly, Allen said in a statement: “Gavin Newsom and his allies have a record of incompetence and incompetence.” Allen continued: “He’s never been one to shy away from controversy, and he’s certainly not going to start now. During this recall, Republicans will make their views known so that voters can reject this political stunt.”
A spokesperson for Newsom responded to the recall effort by reminding voters that Newsom has consistently opposed recalls of elected officials since his time as San Francisco mayor in 2005.