Democrat Gray Davis won a second term as governor in an election shadowed by voter disapproval.
This years’ elections were carried out in the face of low voter turnout estimates. Secretary of State Officials estimated Monday that of registered voters, only 58 percent would go to the polls.
As with most voters around the state, the majority of the Mills campus felt let down by the two major party candidates.
Although she didn’t vote due to an error made by voter registration on her absentee ballot, Freshman Sara Hollander, doesn’t know which candidate she would have voted for.
“Both candidates have problems. There really isn’t anyone to vote for. I was in High School when school reform changes should have gone in under Davis, and nothing changed.”
Mills trustee, Mary-Ellen Herringer, voted for Davis, but wasn’t left at peace by her choice. Explaining why she made her decision, she said, “I don’t like Davis but I’m concerned about Simon’s ethics, and we know less about Simon than Davis.”
Noting the dilemma facing many Californians, independent party candidate, Reinhold Gulke, mentioned in statements for his campaign, that “instead of voting for the lesser of two evils, why don’t you join me and just poke ’em in the eye.”
These were only some of the concerns which prompted candidates to increase their campaigning in the last legs of their race.
Hoping to rouse voters, Governor Gray Davis planned last minute events during the 48 hours before elections in seven cities, including a Monday rally in San Francisco.
At his final stop, Davis told supporters at California State University in LA, that although polls showed him to be in the lead, it, “doesn’t matter, unless you vote.”
Davis’s campaign relied on various field workers to get his message and name out. In the San Francisco rally, homeless persons were reportedly paid a minimum of $50 to hold up signs and walk through neighborhoods encouraging residents to vote.
Various Mills students were also recruited in the weekends leading up to the vote by members of the democratic campaign. Students were told they could earn up to $200 per weekend by walking door to door and taking part in various other campaign activities.
Simon, was not too far behind in his last ditch efforts to get votes. Along with several rallies over the weekend and on Monday, Simon appeared in 20 radio shows, which were aired throughout the state. His campaign continued election day where he visited Fullerton and San Diego.
A favored candidate by Mills students, green party member, Peter Miguel Camejo, held a strong liberal platform which supported pro-choice, Eco-friendly resolutions, and gay and lesbian rights.
Catherine Edgerton, member of OM, organizing Mills, voted for Camejo. “I feel that its really important to vote for something, not just because you think others are going to be in that boat.”
Camejo believed that the democratic party was afraid of his influence on voters. He told San Diego State Universities’ paper, The Daily Aztec, that, “They have the power of money. They have the power to influence how people will vote even if what they say is not true.”
Although Simon outspent Davis by more than 2 to 1, both men squeezed out as much as they could out of their funds.
Both Simon and Davis spent billions of dollars on ads attacking each other. Most notably, Simon accused Davis midway through elections, of accepting campaign funds from illegitimate sources.
While Simon attacked Davis’ energy and economic management policies in terms of California’s crisis, Davis critiqued Simon’s pro-life stance and his participation in The Western Federal Savings and Loan
This year democrats campaigned to fill seven offices with their candidates. Although democrats have never achieved this, pre-election polls showed that democrats had a lead to win 5 of the 7 positions.
As the appointed Governor, Davis now has the responsibility of leading the worlds fifth largest economy, which faces a budget deficit of $15 billion.