(AP) — California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has emphatically defeated a recall aimed at kicking him out of office. Newsom bolted to a quick victory Tuesday boosted by healthy turnout in the overwhelmingly Democratic state. He cast it as a win for his handling of the pandemic and liberal issues. It ensures the nation’s most populous state will remain in Democratic control as a laboratory for progressive policies. Newsom overcame Republican criticism of COVID-19 restrictions that shuttered schools and businesses. The outcome was being watched nationally with the 2022 midterm elections on the horizon, when control of Congress again will be at stake.