‘The Rundown’: A quick and dirty guide to the California recall election

Your Tuesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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A quick and dirty guide to the California recall

Today is the California recall election, which will determine the fate of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

I’ll try to explain what’s going on, but you should really watch The Bulwark’s Tim Miller’s “Not My Party.” The Los Angeles Times is another great resource for understanding the results.

California is one of 19 states that have recall elections for public officials. Despite the proliferation of Facebook groups calling for recall elections in Utah, the Beehive State is not one of them.

Here’s how it works. Voters in California are asked two questions. Do they want to recall Newsom, yes or no? If more than 50% of voters say “yes,” the second question is who should replace him. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would become governor, even without a majority. There are 46 candidates on the ballot to replace Newsom. When then-Gov. Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, more than 100 people ran to replace him.

Right now, the leading candidate if Newsom does not survive the recall effort is far-right talk show host Larry Elder. He has made several controversial statements, such as arguing that slave owners were owed reparations after the Civil War. Elder also has said employers should be able to discriminate against women for having children because they are “protecting an investment.” Utah 4th District Congressman Burgess Owens is an enthusiastic supporter of Elder’s candidacy.

Elder is already taking a page from former President Donald Trump, pushing baseless claims of election fraud even before the votes have been counted. Polls show it’s likely that Newsom will survive the recall attempt.

This is the 6th recall attempt against Newsom since he took office in 2018 (he won that election by nearly 24 points). The state estimates the recall election will cost the state $276 million.

Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning

😷 Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall asked the City Council to extend her school mask mandate, which is set to expire next week. [Tribune]

🦠 The number of COVID-19 cases in children in the U.S. has jumped 240% since July. [CNN]

💉 Gov. Spencer Cox said Monday he opposes the sweeping vaccine mandates announced by President Joe Biden last week. [Tribune]

  • Sen. Mike Lee was a little more forceful in his opposition to Biden’s mandate saying, “The President isn’t a king.” [Real Clear Politics]

💉 SLCC will require students to get vaccinated against COVID-19. More than half of Utah’s public colleges and universities have a vaccine mandate. [Tribune]

🦠 Two Utah schools have hit the threshold to begin the test to stay protocol for COVID-19. [Tribune]

🏛 Democrats target the richest 1% of Americans with a tax hike that would produce $2 trillion in new revenue. [WSJ]

🏛 Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin defended the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan while blaming the Trump administration for the chaotic conditions. [Politico]

🚞 The Utah Inland Port may bond for $150 to bring more rail to the facility. [Tribune]

📱 Update your iPhone. Researchers identify a vulnerability in Apple’s iMessage allowing spyware to hack into most Apple devices. Apple released a patch to address the exploit. [TechCrunch]

👀 A fake news release claiming Walmart would accept Litecoin as payment caused prices for the cryptocurrency to spike before the retailer said the news was phony. [WSJ]

🗓 Tuesday’s agenda

Send your calendar items for this newsletter to TheRundown@sltrib.com.

Tuesday’s Utah news roundup


  • Here are the men who died from COVID-19 in Utah’s prisons. [Tribune]

  • ‘The plan is to get them out of Afghanistan’: Inside a BYU professor’s push to help a family escape the Taliban. [Deseret News]

  • Report: Rent prices in these Utah counties have skyrocketed — including one with a 66% jump/ [Deseret News]

Salt Lake City

  • Salt Lake City police investigating scuffle involving rifle at youth soccer tournament. [Tribune]

  • Fairmont Park pond reopens after EPA testing confirms no evidence of mercury contamination. [Tribune]


  • BYU student no longer enrolled after defacing chalk art drawn in support of LGBTQ students [Tribune]

  • How did Utah colleges fare on U.S. News rankings? [Deseret News]


  • Utahns can no longer make COVID-19 testing appointments with TestUtah. [Tribune]


  • Fall is just around the corner in Utah. Look for it next week. [Tribune]

In the opinion pages

  • If we want to improve our justice system, Utah should get rid of capital punishment, Robert Gehrke writes. [Tribune]

  • It’s time to dissolve the Utah State Board of Education, George Pyle writes. [Tribune]

— The Tribune’s Jordan Miller contributed to this report.