Gavin Newsom received 271,888 votes, which amounts to 56.4% of the total cast as of 8:10 p.m. PST. All California counties have reported. Newsom was up for reelection for the first time since he was first elected governor in 2018.
Pillars of his campaign are tackling the state’s affordability crisis, creating “inclusive economic growth” through equitable opportunities for all children, mitigating the climate crisis with an emphasis on wildfire prevention and protecting civil rights, according to his website.
Despite winning by a comfortable margin, Newsom’s first term as governor hasn’t been without controversy.
Newsom overcame a recall election last year after Republicans criticized his COVID-19 pandemic response and garnered enough petition signatures to hold a special election.
Specific grievances included keeping schools virtual, restricting business operations under the public health emergency order and going against his own guidance around avoiding gatherings by having a maskless dinner party at the high end restaurant French Laundry.
The recall effort was given extra fuel when a judge ruled to give the recall campaign four extra months to garner signatures, due to the pandemic posing logistical challenges. With over 12.8 million ballots cast, 61.9% of voters rejected the recall effort and kept him in office.
During his past four years as governor, Newsom has passed legislation to protect abortion rights in California, require salary transparency in job postings, increasing affordable housing and public transit and signed over 40 bills to allocate California’s $54 billion climate commitment.
Brian Dahle, Newsom’s challenger, ran on a platform centered around reducing gas prices, crime safety that maintains law enforcement funding and streamlining affordable housing projects to reduce homelessness across the state.