SPECIAL SERIES : 2003 California Recall Election
Schwarzenegger Claims California, but not SF State
October 7, 2003 11:01 PM
Gov. Gray Davis acknowledged a likely loss to Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger according to results tallied thus far in today's recall election.
At 11:00 p.m., Arnold Schwarzenegger was the leading candidate by almost 18 percentage points, tallying 49.3 percent of the vote. Lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante held 31.4 percent. Tom McClintock had 13.1 percent and Green Party candidate Peter Camejo had 2.5 percent.
According to the preliminary numbers released by the California Secretary of State's Web site, with 45 percent of the precincts reporting their results, 55 percent of Californians have voted to recall Gray Davis while 45 percent have voted to retain the governor.
The idea of Schwarzenegger as the next governor worried many Democrats.
“There are many things going through my mind,” said Jonathan Miller, a Bay Area Democratic candidate on the ballot to replace Davis. “The recall could be great harm for the state because Arnold Schwarzenegger could be elected. He could be a big problem because he is going to cancel the increase in the license fee. If it’s canceled, where is the money for police and fire departments?”
Contrary to Miller’s gloomy view on the future of the state, another Bay Area gubernatorial candidate, Michael Wozniak, was upbeat about the election. “I feel great,” said the Democratic candidate. “I feel everything I did in the past three months was worth it.”
The campaign to recall Davis began earlier in the year with Ted Costa as its leader. The momentum was slow at the beginning until Congressman Darrell Issa poured in millions of his own money to finance the signature gathering that is required to qualify the recall. With over 1.3 million signatures gathered, the recalled was finally certified by the Secretary of State, Kevin Shelley.
The recall has captured the attention of SF State students. Mia Rubie, a senior business major, said that she will go to vote in the afternoon after her class is over. “I’ll vote against the recall,” she said. “It’s a waste of money and time. Davis did not deserve to be recalled.”
Andre Stewart thought that since Davis got us into the current situation, then he deserves the chance to get us out of it-- and can.
Not all people are excited about the election though. Ricky Ros, a junior and electrical engineering major, admitted that he did not vote because he didn’t care.
Along with the governor's race, Californians also voted on two contentious measures.
Proposition 53, which called for allocation of up to 3 percent of local and state funds for infrastructure projects, was trailing by a large margin, with 35.3 percent supporting and 64.7 percent against. Proposition 53 would be bad to the state government because it tightens the state’s budget and the government cannot use that money for other purposes when needed, said Dr. Robert Smith, a professor in the political science department.
Proposition 54, the racial privacy initiative, is trailing by a smaller margin. The vote for the proposition is 39.2 percent while the no vote is at 60.8 percent.
Proposition 54 would ban any state agency from collecting racial data in the state if passed. Proponents of the proposition claimed that it would help to create a colorblind society. The opponents said that some research is dependent on this type of data, such as medical, educational, and criminal justice studies.
Smith said that collecting racial data is a way to make sure that the society is going in the right direction of becoming a colorblind society. Without those data, there is no way to verify that the society is really colorblind.
San Francisco has reported its typical voting trends, anomalous to the rest of the state. In San Francisco county, the effort to recall Gov. Davis failed-- with 80.5 percent against and 19.5 in favor of the recall. San Franciscans also voted for Bustamante over Schwarzenegger, 63.5 to 18.9 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
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