On November 17, 2003 Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as governor replacing Gray Davis in a special recall election. Schwarzenegger had previously served as the chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 1990 to 1993. He was nominated by George W. Bush, who liked to call him “Conan the Republican”. Most actors in Hollywood tend to be liberal and Democratic-leaning, so Schwarzenegger’s republican choice was a little different. Also, unlike a lot of actors of the time he was very outspoken about his choice and political beliefs. Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy on an August 6, 2003 airing of The Tonight show with Jay Leno.
On October 7, 2003, the recall election resulted in Governor Gray Davis being removed from office with 55.4% of the Yes vote in favor of a recall. Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California under the second question on the ballot with 48.6% of the vote to choose a successor to Davis. – From Wikipedia