Inside California’s Reddest Town: Resistance to Newsom Presidency Fuels Second Recall Movement

By: Georgia | Published: Jul 03, 2024

Despite the recent presidential debate, the community of Susanville isn’t discussing President Biden or former President Trump’s performances. 

Instead, their attention is fixed on Governor Gavin Newsom. Amidst speculations of his potential presidential run, Susanville residents are showing clear concerns, with local sentiments heavily against Newsom stepping onto the national stage.

Local Perspectives on a Potential Newsom Presidency

In Susanville, the prospect of Governor Gavin Newsom as President is causing widespread unease. “Newsom has been absolutely terrible for the families in Susanville,” writer Kelly Eggert told the Daily Mail.

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at a podium outdoors, with trees in the background, wearing a dark blue shirt and sunglasses

Source: CAgovernor/X

This quote captures the prevailing mood in the town, where Newsom’s potential presidential candidacy is met with significant opposition.


Growing Concerns Over Newsom's Ambitions

As Governor Newsom presents himself as a possible presidential candidate, the reaction in Susanville is one of increasing worry. 

A street view of Susanville featuring old buildings and retro signage including a "Pioneer Cafe" sign

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Eggert expressed that if Newsom were to become president, “It would be like the Civil War all over again.” This sentiment reflects the deep divide and heightened tensions that Newsom’s candidacy is provoking among the locals.

Deep-Seated Discontent with State Leadership

Susanville’s residents express profound dissatisfaction with Governor Newsom’s leadership, particularly concerning state management and social policies. 

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at a podium with a "Investing in America" sign, with industrial infrastructure and a rainbow in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The community feels neglected and adversely affected by policies they believe do not favor their region, highlighting a significant disconnect between this Republican stronghold and the Democratic state leadership.

Susanville’s Strong Republican Support

The electoral history in Lassen County demonstrates its Republican leanings, with overwhelming support for Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections. 

Former President Donald Trump speaking at a podium with an American flag backdrop, smiling

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This political alignment is also reflected in local actions, including previous efforts to recall Governor Newsom and the strong backing for Republican candidates in state elections.

Economic Impact of Prison Closure

The closure of the California Correctional Center, initiated by Newsom, has left a lasting impact on Susanville, known locally as ‘Prison Town’. 

Close-up of twisted barbed wire against a clear blue sky.

Source: stlnewsonline/X

The town suffered economically due to the loss of 300 jobs, a decision that locals attribute to political motives against Republican-dominated areas.


Community Reaction to Economic Decisions

The economic repercussions of the prison’s closure are still felt in Susanville. 

An old weathered barn in a rural field with dry grass, a distant town visible in the background against a backdrop of hills

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“He did this to punish a Republican area,” Kelly Eggert stated, voicing a common belief that the decision was politically motivated. This has stirred strong resentments towards Governor Newsom, perceived as targeting their livelihoods.


A Second Recall Attempt in Motion

In a tangible display of opposition, locals, led by individuals like Jackie, 67, are actively gathering signatures to initiate a second recall against Governor Newsom. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom seated, smiling during an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Jackie’s efforts illustrate a determined community pushback, as she questions Newsom’s capabilities, saying, “I don’t believe he has the capability to be president.”


Critiques of Newsom’s Governance

Governor Newsom’s administration is criticized for high taxes, embracing controversial social policies, and the handling of various state crises. 

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking passionately at a podium indoors with a flag of California beside him

Source: Wikimedia Commons

These issues have galvanized the local population in Susanville to resist his policies, with residents like Jackie advocating for a change to slow down what they see as detrimental state leadership.


Perceived Persecution from State Policies

Local sentiment in Susanville feels a targeted negative impact from state policies under Newsom’s administration. 

Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at a podium with a "California Democrats" sign, addressing an audience at a nighttime event

Source: Wikimedia Commons

“We’re getting persecuted by Governor Newsom which is making more people more angry,” Michael Monahan, a retired teacher, said, reflecting a community feeling of being unfairly treated by state decisions.


Local Responses to State Decisions

The decision to shut down the California Correctional Center was met with significant local opposition. 

A view of a prison in a rural area with dry grass foreground and hazy hills in the background

Source: IsraelNewsLinks/X

Jeremy Caruso, editor of, observes that the governor is frequently blamed for many local challenges, indicating a deep-seated discontent with his decisions among the Susanville population.


A Divided Opinion on Newsom’s Leadership

While the majority in Susanville hold critical views of Governor Newsom, not all residents are against him. 

Governor Gavin Newsom standing and speaking to an attentive audience in a conference room setting

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Laura Hammond and her boyfriend represent a quieter segment of the population who, while not actively involved in politics, see potential benefits in younger leadership at the state level. However, figures like firefighter David Sandbond are resolute in their opposition, with Sandbond emphasizing his intent to support Trump in future elections.