Former Gov. Gray Davis | Recalls Explained | This Week in California Politics

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Former Gov. Gray Davis on California’s Recall Politics
When it comes to the recall election, there's only one other Californian who really knows what Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is going through right now: Gray Davis. In 2003, Davis, also a Democrat, had to contend with a budget deficit, an energy crisis and an action-hero movie-star challenger. Today, Newsom is facing his own challenges, from the pandemic to wildfires.


  • Former California Gov. Gray Davis

Recall Elections Explained
Every California governor since 1960 — from Pat Brown to Ronald Reagan to Jerry Brown — has faced a recall attempt. But only two attempted ousters have successfully made it onto the ballot — a process that involves signature gathering, legislative approvals and millions of dollars in election expenditures. Reporter Monica Lam explains the nuts and bolts of recall elections — including the current one.

This Week in California Politics
National politicians are weighing in on California’s current political battles. Vice President Kamala Harris swung through her native Bay Area, while former President Barack Obama released a political ad in support of Gov. Gavin Newsom. The governor’s challengers are also stepping up their campaigns in the final days of the recall election as polling numbers suggest that Newsom may get to keep his job.



  • Scott Shafer, KQED senior editor of politics and government
  • Marisa Lagos, KQED politics and government correspondent 

Something Beautiful: Voting
For this week's look at something beautiful, we take a look at democracy in action.