Voters in Tuesday's gubernatorial recall election catapulted GOPer Schwarzenegger into ousted Democrat Gray Davis' office, while Bustamante - a Democrat who finished second among the replacement candidates - will stay on as lieutenant governor for the next three years.
As Davis' lieutenant governor, Bustamante rode a strange horse in the campaign - arguing that voters should reject the recall, but choose him as the replacement if they happened to vote for the recall.
Of the many candidates in the election, Bustamante - the 50-year-old grandson of Mexican immigrant field workers - was one of the few with any solid support.
Ultimately, it wasn't enough.
Exit polling indicates he may not have received even half the votes of fellow Hispanics.
Bustamante nonetheless told his supporters they should celebrate the defeat of Proposition 54, another ballot question, which would have banned collection of most racial data by state institutions. (See Editor's Note at the end of this story).
But that was Bustamante's only consolation. Later in the evening, network coverage of his concession speech was interrupted as satellite feeds switched instead to Schwarzenegger's victory speech.
When Schwarzenegger takes office alongside Bustamante, it won't be the first time the governor and his lieutenant hail from opposite parties. But never before have the state's top elected officials been thrown together so soon after clashing on the campaign trail.
Bustamante said Tuesday that while the recall campaign was sometimes a bruising one, he is prepared to move on - so long as Schwarzenegger is willing too.
"You meet on the battlefield and fight your battles but when the battle is done you have to be able to work for the people of California," Bustamante said.
Experts say that unlike the president and the vice president, the duties of California's governor and lieutenant governor rarely overlap. The lieutenant governor's role is to fill in for the governor if he is unable to serve or is out of state. Most of the time, the lieutenant governor just baby-sits during the chief executive's absences.
One exception, however, came in the late 1970s and early 80s when Republican Mike Curb served as lieutenant governor during Gov. Jerry Brown's administration. Curb exercised some gubernatorial prerogatives, such as making policy proclamations and a judicial appointment, during Brown's frequent absences while was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"Curb thought he was really the governor and there were a couple of situations that really caused some trouble," said Larry Berg, founding director of the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California. But Berg said such conflicts are rare.
California has had a governor and a lieutenant governor of different parties 20 of the past 25 years, including the four years that Davis was lieutenant governor under Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.
Editor's Note: Previous versions of this story incorrectly stated that Proposition 54 would have ALLOWED collection of racial data. CBSNews.com regrets the error.