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Newsom California remembers that the polls open

Newsom California remembers that the polls open

After months of politics, stance and forecasting, polls opened Tuesday morning for Californians to decide whether Govin Newsom should be removed from office, and if so, who should replace him.

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder Spokesman Mike Sanchez said the vote Tuesday was a “good start,” and about 11,000 voters had already cast ballots at 8:30 a.m. Voting opened at 7:30 p.m.

The race has caught the attention of a deeply divided nation, and whatever the outcome, it seems to be mentioned as proof of the direction the major political winds are blowing.

For Republicans, a successful recall would not only give Newsom a devastating defeat, but also destroy the entrenched democratic hegemony of Sacramento. Democrats have dismissed the effort as an underhanded power grab and warned of potentially dire consequences if successful.

The effort was evident Monday when President Biden joined Newsom for a final campaign stop in Long Beach — the latest high-profile Democrat to put political emphasis on the governor’s cause.

“This is not hyperbolt: the nation’s eyes are on California,” Biden said. “Because the decision you’re about to make will not only have a huge impact on California, it will resonate around the country – and frankly, it’s not a joke around the world.”

Although 46 candidates are listed on the ballot as potential replacements, the race for weeks has been shaped as a head-to-head match between Newsom and conservative talk show host Larry Elder, the leading Republican candidate.

Elders advance Newsom’s opponents with 38% support from likely voters, according to a poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times – a double-digit lead over Democratic candidate and YouTube star Kevin Paffrath, who achieved 10%.

“I think I have given the state energy, I have given the party energy. “That is why they are bringing this heavy burden,” said the elder, referring to the national democratic surrogates who have fought for Newsom.

Democrats have regularly compared elders to former President Trump, saying his rise would undermine the state’s progressive values ​​and harmless efforts to combat climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Elders have said he would lift the Newsom administration’s state mandates for students to wear masks in primary school and vaccination requirements for health workers and government employees.

“We may have defeated Donald Trump, but we have not defeated Trumpism,” Newsom said during Monday’s rally. “Trumpism is still in the polls in California, which is why it is so important, not just for all of us here – 40 million Americans strong in the country’s largest and most populous state – but also to send a declaration across the United States of America that Trumpism does not has somewhere here, and Trumpism will be defeated throughout the United States because we are better than that. ”

However, Republicans have long objected to Newsom’s handling of the pandemic and his use of executive power. They have also hired him to attend a gathering last year at the exclusive French laundry restaurant in Napa Valley.

Newsom’s participation in the event — with several unmasked people outside his household — contradicted the state’s COVID-19 directive directly to the public at the time and ignited a wave of California recall calls frustrated by the governor for breaking his own rules.

Remember candidate and state Congressman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) voted Tuesday. A dozen supporters and campaign staff were present as he brought his ballot into a largely empty polling station at St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Roseville.

Kiley said he feels optimistic, despite recent polls suggesting Newsom has a significant lead in halting the recall attempt. Kiley said “Gavin Newsom has trotted out Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Barack Obama” and others, whom he called a “sign of desperation.”

“Ultimately, despite every attempt by our corrupt political class to seize power from the people, the people are still sovereign in this state, and the idea of ​​’We the people’ still matters,” Kiley said.

Asked what his next step is if the recall fails, Kiley said he is not thinking that far ahead.

“I’m not making any decisions about what to eat for breakfast tomorrow morning,” Kiley said. “We have focused like a laser on getting all the votes in favor of the recall.”

For Pasadena’s housewife, Mary Forrest, 32, Tuesday’s vote was a matter of “patriotic duty.”

Forrest voted to dismiss Newsom, whom she blames for “violent homelessness, failing schools and closing businesses.”

“When you look around the state of California, it’s just really sad,” said Forrest, a mother of three with another on the way. “I look after my children. There is more emphasis on the homeless than there is education of our children. That needs to change. ”

Forrest did not say which candidate she voted for to replace Newsom, and withdrew on the idea that the recall election was a party issue.

“I’m not even a Republican,” said Forrest, a libertarian. “Today, it’s about California getting up and doing what’s best for the state.”

Of potential replacement candidates, eldest scored points with a pair of recall voters.

“Larry understands California needs to get back to business,” said Pasadena resident Bobby Charlie, 33. “But my voice, and why I’m here, is more about Newsom. There can be no two sets of rules for him and for everyone else. ”

Charlie said his brother recently closed his brewery due to large financial losses that were suffered during COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Newsom’s winery was opened, but ordinary people had to close their businesses,” Charlie said. “It’s a double standard.”

Several voters reiterated the mood of Pasadena resident Keith Ashton, 60, who opposed the recall and left the second question blank.

“I’m not a defender of Newsom, but I think he’s done well or as best you can during a pandemic,” Ashton said. “He protected the people of the state with masks and shutdowns, and it hurt, but it was the right thing to do.”

Ashton did not like the high price of the recall or that those who spoke in favor of Newsom’s recall could not wait for the 2022 election.

“A lot of this makes no sense,” he said. “This is a huge waste of money and time.”

Santana Salas was thinking of her unvaccinated 10-year-old sister, Alina, when she voted Tuesday morning against remembering Newsom at the Jerome Center in Santa Ana.

“I’m thinking of her safety, the safety of children who are not eligible for vaccination,” Salas said. “She is the only one in our family who has not been vaccinated right now. The pandemic is still going strong. Other states do not have mask mandates in schools, and you can see the rise in the virus, especially in children. ”

Friends and family members in Santa Ana and Mexico have been hit hard by the virus, she said.

Salas, who trained as a psychologist from Cal State Fullerton a few months ago, lives with her parents and says she is concerned about her family’s health and safety. She said Newsom had done his best given the circumstances.

“In Florida, cases continue to rise and they have no mask mandate,” she said. “And here things are not so bad.”

Chef Nneka Nyamekye, a 45-year-old mother of three boys, said she was most concerned about education and the effects of the California pandemic. She did not think Newsom was great on both issues, but had no confidence in the recall candidates, especially the elders.

“He’s not going to do anything for California,” Nyamekye said. “I take the least of two evils.”

Wanda James, a retired teacher in the ’80s, voted to keep Newsom in office – equivalent to the unwanted intrusion of “Trumpism in disguise” into the state’s largely blue backyard.

Elder “is definitely the wrong person to ever be governor of anything,” said James, who wore purple sunglasses adorned with rhinestones and a mask with the image of Rosie the Niveter bending a bicep.

Joshua Bettea, a 62-year-old Santa Clarita resident who also voted to keep Newsom in office, said the installation of a Republican governor would “backfire” in the mostly democratic state.

But if Newsom lost to a Republican challenger, Bettea said, those in another political persuasion would continue – as they did for four years of a Trump presidency.

“There’s always a new day,” he said.

The issue of inheritance will not come into play unless a majority of voters decide to remove Newsom from office. The same recent poll by Berkeley IGS / Times found that 60.1% of likely voters voted against recalling Newsom compared to 38.5% in favor of ousting him – the latest source of cautious optimism for Democrats, after previous canvases showed a much tighter run.

However, it remains to be seen whether the results of the race will be known on Tuesday night. And if Newsom were to win, some Republicans have already begun laying the groundwork to contest the election, despite the fact that there are no signs of voter problems.

Times staff writers Dakota Smith, Faith E. Pinho, Seema Mehta, Julia Wick, Robin Estrin and Phil Willon contributed to this report.