Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom was the winner of the California gubernatorial recall, with voters choosing by a wide margin to keep him in office despite critics’ jabs that he bungled the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response, let homelessness run amok, and had otherwise proved to be a failed leader.
The former San Francisco mayor and lieutenant governor easily rebuffed an attempt to remove him from office early. Newsom escaped the fate of a previous Democratic governor of California, Gray Davis, who in 2003 was recalled by voters in favor of former bodybuilder and action-film star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Newsom’s decisive win saves his political career, positioning him strongly to win a second, four-year term in 2022, and perhaps seek the White House after that.
Newsom, though, wasn’t the only one to emerge from the recall with his reputation enhanced — or, conversely, tarnished. Here are key winners and losers of the recall fight in the nation’s most