Arnold Schwarzenegger became CA governor because Gray Davis was recalled

Monday, September 13, 2021

2003 California gubernatorial recall election


The 2003 California gubernatorial recall election was a special election permitted under California state law. It resulted in voters replacing incumbent Democratic Governor Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. The recall effort spanned the latter half of 2003. Seven of the nine previous governors, including Davis, had faced unsuccessful recall attempts.


After several legal and procedural efforts failed to stop it, California's first-ever gubernatorial recall election was held on October 7, and the results were certified on November 14, 2003, making Davis the first governor recalled in the history of California, and just the second in U.S. history (the first was North Dakota's 1921 recall of Lynn Frazier). California is one of 19 states that allow recalls.


Nearly 18 years after the 2003 election, California is set to hold a second recall election in 2021.


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