Voters from remote parts of California are displeased after the governor survived a recall election on Sept. 14.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will stay in public office until at least 2023, after defeating a referendum to remove him before the current term ends.
Although mail-in ballots are still being counted, 64 percent of voters wanted Newsom to stay in office. Since Republicans prefer to vote late, the number has significantly dropped since polls closed.
This result disappointed several regional Californians who had hoped for a change in leadership. One resident, who only identified himself as Steve, revealed the cost of living has reached unsustainable levels across the Golden State.
“How are we going to get this state so we can afford to live in it?” he said according to the Washington Examiner. “It is ridiculous what it costs for everything–to license cars, pay your taxes, [and] buy stuff.”
He believes salaries have not kept up with soaring living expenses.
“Everything is so high-priced and wages are not keeping up,” he said according to the publication. “We get taxed and I feel like my voice does not matter.”
California has battled multiple crises including the COVID-19 pandemic, homelessness, harsh drought, and major wildfires.
About 3 million ballots remain unprocessed, and the secretary of state has received a further 35 days to complete the task.
Most of the governor’s supporters live in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. These voters gave him an 86 per cent support rating.
However, lackluster performance in eastern parts of the state has created disparity in public opinion “between the east and the west–the rural areas versus the coast.”
“Newsom has done nothing to help rural California, and his agents have even come to take away our water so we cannot fight forest fires,” Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) said.
LaMalfa blamed the Democrat for neglecting to clear the forest of dead, diseased, and overcrowded trees. This surplus wood allegedly helped fuel recent wildfires.
Newsom has also reportedly abandoned a prison program that teaches inmates how to become firefighters.
“Newsom is hell-bent on continuing to crush us up here with his mandates, and who knows what he plans on doing next,” LaMalfa said.
The Republican believes the recall election result is the last straw for many residents who are considering to leave the state altogether.
“Each election is the starting gun for the next wave of people leaving California,” he said. “They are going to Nevada, Texas, Idaho, and Tennessee–anywhere but here.”
In his victory speech Newsom thanked voters for supporting his liberal policies.
“We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to ending this pandemic, [and] we said yes to people’s right to vote without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression,” he previously said. “Economic justice, social justice, racial justice, [and] environmental justice [are] our values where California has made so much progress–all of those things were on the ballot.”
California was among the first states to reinstate mask mandates and vaccine requirements.