|California Governor Gavin Newsom has claimed victory in the recall vote. (Photo by= Reuters)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] California Governor Gavin Newsom appears to have survived a rare state-wide vote to remove him with a clear majority, US media report. Republicans launched the election over his handling of the pandemic, BBC said.
The Democrat, currently in the third year of his four-year term, had faced a field of 46 candidates and was expected to win by a large margin. Both President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris campaigned with Mr. Newsom ahead of the contest. The BBC's US partner CBS projects that the governor will prevail, with about two-thirds of voters backing him and more than 70% of the vote tallied. "I'm humbled and grateful to the millions and millions of Californians that exercised their fundamental right to vote," Mr. Newsom said in a victory speech in Sacramento.
The outcome has been closely watched as a bellwether for the national 2022 elections. Mr. Newsom's main rival, conservative radio host Larry Elder, claimed that the vote was rigged before polls even opened. On the eve of the recall vote, Mr Biden appeared at a rally with Mr Newsom - a former San Francisco mayor - to tell voters that their choice will "reverberate around the world". With the largest state population in the US, California has some 22 million registered voters and the fifth largest global economy.