California recall election results: Newsom prevails, will remain governor. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, survived a GOP-led recall election on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Out of 55 previous attempts to recall a governor of California, this is the second to ever qualify for the ballot. The only successful attempt resulted in the ouster of Gray Davis as governor in 2003. He was replaced by the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.