October 8, 2003
LOS ANGELES — California Governor Gray Davis was ousted by 55.4 percent of votes against 44.6 in polls Tuesday, while Arnold Schwarzenegger was chosen to replace him with 51.1 percent of votes against 30.4
to deputy governor Cruz Bustamante, early official figuires showed.
Some 1.1 million voters chose to oust the unpopular Davis against 890,434 who voted against the recall, according to California's secretary of state, with 20.5 percent of votes
Earlier the battle to win the historic recall election – the first to target a US governor in 82 years – was joined by a circus of 135 candidates, many of them eccentric, but ends under the clear
domination of the "Terminator."
"Most people across America and world probably don't even know
what this election is about, they only know that it could make a
movie star governor," said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe of the University
of Southern California.
The Austrian-born ex-bodybuilder leads the polls in the race to
replace unpopular Democratic Governor Gray Davis in the October 7
special election, despite explosive allegations of sexual
harassment and admiration of Adolf Hitler that rocked the final
days of his turbulent two-month campaign.
Since the actor's Hollywood-style announcement of his candidacy
on a television talk show in August, he has been the focus of
global attention and criticism for his lack of political experience
and unwillingness – or inability – to lay out detailed economic
plans for the broke state.
His star power has thrust albeit rare state elections into a
publicity glare that has both flattered and appalled the residents
of the most populous and richest US state.
When the campaign rollercoaster ride began in July, "wacky"
California become the butt of jokes when eccentric candidates
ranging from porn mogul Larry Flynt to X-rated movie star Mary Carey to fallen child star Gary Coleman threw their hats into the
Republican Schwarzenegger has positioned himself as an outsider
poised to clean up political corruption and halt massive state
overspending, while pushing a moderate social agenda, including
support for abortion and gay rights, very unpopular concepts among
right-wing Republicans. –Sapa-AFP