Updated Nov 9, 5:31 a.m.
Gavin Newsom will get another term as governor of California after winning re-election Tuesday night, according to a race call from the Associated Press.
Newsom defeated Republican challenger Brian Dahle, a state senator from rural Northern California. The AP called the race just after polls closed. CapRadio and NPR rely on the Associated Press for race calls. Here is information about how the process works.
As of Wednesday morning, Newsom had 58% of the votes counted, with 41% of the expected votes tallied, according to the AP.
Dahle acknowledged the steep difference in votes, but said he wanted to see more ballots counted before conceding.
"We will do the right thing when the time is right to concede, if that's appropriate," Dahle told supporters. "But we're going to wait to see really what the numbers are, obviously. But we knew it was a David versus Goliath race."
At a victory party for reproductive rights ballot measure Proposition 1, Newsom thanked voters for their support.
“This is my third election in four years and I’m deeply humbled by the results,” he said.
The governor has spent much of the last six months pushing expanded access to abortion in California at the state Capitol and on the campaign trail. He applauded California voters for passing Prop. 1 and called California a “true freedom state.” The AP called the measure as passing late Tuesday night.
“Reproductive rights are now enshrined in the constitution of the state of California,” he said. “That’s a point of pride and it’s a point of principle and it’s a point of contrast” to other states that are restricting abortion, Newsom said.
Newsom frequently attacks the Republican governors of Florida and Texas for supporting policies that restrict abortion and LGBTQ rights.
“Here we are in California moving in a completely different direction. That’s a deep point of pride,” he said. In his second term, the governor promised a “resolve to do more to advance that cause of freedom and fairness.”
Governor Gavin Newsom addresses media and supporters alongside the first family at a Proposition One victory party in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.Andrew Nixon / CapRadio
Newsom was elected in 2018 and his first term was quickly defined by a series of emergencies, including major wildfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and a worsening homelessness crisis. In 2021, critics of the governor’s response to those issues forced a recall election, which he defeated with 62% of the vote.
With the recall behind him, Newsom was in a comfortable position this cycle. He spent much of this fall’s campaign season stumping for other Democratic candidates and causes, including a ballot proposition to add the right to an abortion to California’s constitution.
In recent months, the governor has focused on his efforts to expand reproductive rights and go after oil companies for earning record profits amid high fuel prices. But he’s faced criticism from opponents for the growing number of unhoused people living on the streets and for refusing to lower the state’s 54-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax.
A former lieutenant governor and San Francisco mayor, Newsom has been floated as a potential future Democratic presidential contender. He has pledged to complete all four years of his second term. After that, he’ll hit term limits: California’s statewide elected officials are limited to two four-year terms.
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