Water restrictions lead farmers to support the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom

Today, California voters will vote in a recall election to decide whether to remove Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. Farmers, a key constituency in California, may vote in large numbers for “right-wing extremist” Larry Elder—and this includes longtime Democrats like dairy farmer Craig Gordon, recently profiled by The New York Times for spending $44,000 on anti-Newsom billboards in California’s Central Valley. Farmers in the region told the NYT that Newsom has “ignored their pleas” for more water storage during a year of “exceptional drought.” For years, the Central Valley has pumped too much water from its aquifers and the drought has left farmers with few options, especially after last month when the State Water Resources Control Board passed an emergency curtailment order for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed, barring many farmers from using water from rivers and streams. California’s budget includes $5.1 billion to mitigate the drought’s impact, including funding for emergency drought-relief projects that would secure and expand water supplies. Still, farmers assert that water limits—combined with other state restrictions and taxes—“have put a chokehold on their livelihoods.”