Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who came in third among opponents of the repeal, said the election was distorted by national partisan politics.
Faulconer had launched a campaign for governor in 2022 when the impeachment signature campaign forced an earlier election and attracted national attention.
“This recall showed that if you keep the focus on Gavin Newsom, you can beat him,” Newsom told fans in San Diego. “But what we saw clearly is that the focus of this election became politics and national personalities.”
He said what Californians really want is affordable housing, a solution for the homeless, public safety, wildfire protection and a reliable water supply.
Faulconer said winning state office in California must be through an addition process, bringing together Republicans, Democrats and independents, and he vowed to fight for that.
“I am not one of those who are part of a circus. I’m the guy who comes to end the circus, ”he said.
“Tonight was the first round; there is more to come, ”he concluded, hinting at a career in 2022.