Newsom Feeling the Heat in California

Dr. Munr Kazmir
7 min readJul 28, 2021

Wildfires are burning, crime is raging, a recall is gaining steam, and the return to unpopular COVID-19 mandates mid-summer may be a tinder box.

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. June 1, 2019. (photo: Gage Skidmore)

Two things haven’t gone Governor Gavin Newsom’s way lately, and that’s only in a court of law.

In an embarrassing oversight, Newsom’s political affiliation- which is, of course, Democrat in deep blue California- was left off his recall election paperwork by mistake. It was the unfortunate result, no doubt, of some poor overworked staffer who has since been relegated to lighter duties, if not relieved outright.

Newsom’s team mounted a legal campaign to correct the omission, but the damage was already done. A judge rejected Newsom’s request to add “Democrat” to his name on the ballot Californians will soon see asking them to weigh-in on whether or not California’s current Governor deserves to serve out his term.

The decision was a blow, certainly. But not as big as the blow which landed popular California media conservative Larry Elder on the ballot.

Using a law passed under Newsom in 2017- an effort to keep Donald Trump off the ballot in California due to his unreleased tax returns- election officials attempted to keep Larry Elder off the ballot.

Elder, officials argued in their decision to omit the self-described “Black conservative from South Central L.A.” from the ballot, had not released a sufficient number of tax returns to qualify.

A judge did not agree with this assessment, finding that the law did not apply to recall elections, and therefore did not apply to Elder’s bid, and that in any case, the Elder campaign had provided more than enough tax returns to qualify.

As a result, like it or not, Newsom will have to defend his office against Larry Elder, as well as other candidates vying to replace the governor.

Newsom’s campaign fundraising efforts to defend his office have netted him over $9 million dollars. While neither Larry Elder nor any of the other candidates in the race have quite so large a war chest, recall organization efforts have raised around $23 million they hope will help push some lucky Newsom challenger over the finish line.