August 18, 2021

Just Vote NO

You should receive your ballot in your mail on which you will be asked whether to recall our Governor, Gavin Newsom the week of August 16th. There will be two questions on your ballot:

  1. Do you want to recall (remove) Governor Gavin Newsom?
  2. If Governor Newsom is recalled, which candidate do you want to replace him with?

The Santa Barbara County Democratic Party, along with the California Democratic Party, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and President Joe Biden urge you to vote NO on the recall (Question 1). Governor Newsom has lead California through an unprecedented series of crises, including wildfires, economic downturn, and a global pandemic. He has delivered on progressive priorities – fighting climate change, providing stimulus checks for working families, and supporting immigrants.

This recall was started by right-wing fringe groups, and is now lead by the national Republican Party. Republicans are wasting nearly $300 million taxpayer dollars in this unusual and confusing special election. Their strategy is to take advantage of Democrats’ apathy, and sneak in a new Republican governor. If they succeed at this takeover, Republicans will repeal environmental protections, roll back gun safety laws, take away healthcare access, attack a woman’s right to choose, and strip the rights of immigrants.

Our only option to defeat this Republican power grab is to vote NO. We strongly encourage you to leave Question 2 (If Newsom is recalled, who do you want to replace him with?) blank. Let me explain why.

  1. We are 100% behind Governor Newsom. Full stop.
  2. None of the candidates running as democrats have ever held elected office, or been endorsed by the Democratic Party. While it might be tempting to ‘hedge our bets’ by voting for a Democrat to replace Governor Newsom, these candidates have not been vetted by the Party’s transparent endorsement process.
  3. We have learned the lessons of history. In 2003, Republicans succeeded in recalling a Democratic governor because Democrats opposed the recall, BUT ALSO supported a replacement candidate. This led to many Democrats voting YES on the recall, and for a new Democrat to replace the Democratic governor, because they thought a replacement candidate had a better shot at winning. History proved that to be false – the Republicans succeeded in recalling the Democratic governor, AND had enough votes to elect a Republican to replace them.
  4. IF the recall succeeds, statistically, it is very likely that the Republicans will have enough votes to elect whichever Republican they choose as a replacement on Question 2.

Some have asked if they may write in Governor Newsom as a replacement candidate on Question 2. Per the California State Constitution, Governor Newsom cannot replace himself.

But what about writing in another Democrat? Surely there is one of our thousands of Democratic elected officials in California that could do the job? Doing so would compromise the Democratic unity that we desperately need right now. However well intentioned it may be, advocating for a write in would send the wrong message to voters – that we even need a replacement.

In closing, I want to share of you why there’s so much at stake in this election.
  • A yes vote will put Trump’s Republicans in charge of California.
  • A GOP Governor would appoint a GOP Senator should one of California’s have to step down or pass away.
  • Governor Newsom is likely to sign almost every progressive bill passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature; a Republican replacement will not.
  • Governor Newsom will continue to fight to limit the spread of COVID; a Republican replacement will pander to anti-vaxxers and put us all at greater risk.

VOTE NO and preserve California’s Democratic values and don’t choose a replacement by September 14th. It really is that simple.