Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

California Gov. Gavin Newsom wins re-election bid

Gov. Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom — who faced a recall effort last year — defeated Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle in his re-election bid Tuesday night, the Associated Press reports.

  • Yes, but: The victory was little surprise in a state with twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans, and with Newsom outraising Dahle by a 10:1 ratio.

Why it matters: With four more years in office, Newsom will have a chance to carry out the plans set forth in his first term, like supporting the Californians who struggle with severe mental illness, addressing climate change and building more housing.

Details: This fall, Newsom signed a flurry of bills, including the creation of his Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court system — meant to make it easier to connect those struggling with mental illness with psychiatric treatment.

  • The governor also established 2045 as the deadline for California to reach carbon neutrality and signed two other pieces of legislation aimed at making it easier to convert underused or vacant retail spaces into residential buildings.
  • Upon casting his ballot Tuesday, Newsom vowed to make homelessness and housing affordability key pillars of his second term.

Of note: In recent days, Newsom has been critical of the Democratic Party's messaging ahead of the midterms, telling CBS News, "We're getting crushed on narrative."

  • "We're going to have to do better in terms of getting on the offense and stop being on the damn defense," Newsom said.

The intrigue: The incumbent continues to deny ambitions of running for president in 2024, saying last week that "it's not the moment."

What we're watching: The outcome of California propositions that Newsom threw his support behind, like Proposition 1, which would cement the state's abortion rights, and those he was against, like Proposition 30, which would tax the wealthy to pay for electric car incentives and charging infrastructure.

  • The Golden State also has several congressional races that could play a deciding role in whether the House flips to a Republican majority.
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