California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, defeated a voter-led recall effort in the Democratic-leaning state, achieving a major political victory over Republican Donald Trump, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“It’s a victory for democracy,” Newsom said in a press conference after he was declared the winner of the vote, according to The Times. “I’m grateful to every one of you. We had a positive, constructive race.”
Newsom beat fellow Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa by a 4.4 million-vote margin in the recall vote, estimated at 27 percent of the vote, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Just like the voters of California have shown, we have the ability to reject tired, false attacks and replace them with ideas and leadership that work for us,” Newsom said to supporters.
Voter turnout was low in the state. Only about 16 percent of voters turned out to cast ballots in the general election, more than half of which took place during the recall.
Voters in California started the recall effort when they passed a ballot measure last year that required the governor to live within the state’s 50-mile radius. At the time, the Republican Party in the state slammed the measure as a “special interest-backed meddling scheme.”
Newsom was one of the 15 Democrats who helped pass Proposition 6, which repealed the gas tax increase passed last year by the state legislature and then signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown.