California voters have reelected Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to a second term in office, according to an Associated Press projection.
Newsom easily defeated California State Sen. Brian Dahle (R), receiving close to 60 percent of the vote, compared to Dahle’s 40 percent by the time the race was called.
Under California’s “jungle” primary system, where the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation, Newsom earned around 56.3 percent of the vote, while Dahle came in second place, receiving around 16.8 percent of the vote.
In a state where a Republican has not won the governor’s seat since 2006, Newsom easily defeated GOP challenger John Cox by double digits in the 2018 election.
Last year, Newsom staved off a recall effort following California voters’ dismay with the governor’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which included statewide mandates and lockdowns.
California voters ultimately rejected the recall effort by a 63 percent to 37 percent margin, which was similar to the margin he beat Cox by in 2018 and appears to be close to his margin over Dahle.
Newsom, who is often thought of as a potential Democrat presidential candidate in 2024, pledged to serve the full four-year gubernatorial term during his first and only debate against Dahle last month.
During the debate, Dahle focused on California’s high cost of living, as evidenced by gasoline prices that are roughly 2$ per gallon higher than the national average and the increasing amount of California families leaving the state.
“We have no water. We have no electricity. We have no plan,” Dahle said.
Newsom raised roughly $22 million more than his GOP challenger, with his $24.5 million compared to Dahle’s 2.5 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.