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Newsom opponents get enough signatures to trigger recall election

Aaron Navarro
·2 min read
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Proponents of the recall effort against Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom now have enough valid signatures to trigger a special election, according to California's Secretary of State.

As of Monday, 1,626,042 signatures have been validated, surpassing the 1,495,709 needed per state law. More than 2.1 million signatures were submitted, and county elections officials have until Thursday, April 29, to issue a final report on signatures.

There is then a 30-business day window for voters to request their signatures to be removed from the recall petition. More than 130,000 removals would be needed to prevent the recall.

After a review by the state's Department of Finance on election costs, and another round of certification from the Secretary of State, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis will set a date for a special recall election, likely sometime in the fall.

In this June 26, 2020, file photo, California Governor Gavin Newsom holds a face mask during a news conference in Rancho Cordova, California. / Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP
In this June 26, 2020, file photo, California Governor Gavin Newsom holds a face mask during a news conference in Rancho Cordova, California. / Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / AP

"The People of California have done what the politicians thought would be impossible," said Orrin Heatlie, one of the lead organizers for the recall effort. "Our work is just beginning. Now the real campaign is about to commence."

California GOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan said in a statement, "voters signed recall petitions because California is on the wrong track," adding that Newsom "earned this recall, and we look forward to helping him into early retirement later this fall."

Newsom acknowledged the recall hitting the necessary signatures in a fundraising email to supporters on Monday night. More than 100,000 Californians have donated to the campaign to stop the recall, according to organizers. Newsom raised $300,000 in the 36 hours after former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner filed paperwork last week to take on Newsom.

"This election will be about two different visions for California," Stop the Republican Recall campaign manager Juan Rodriguez said in a statement. "The Republican recall – backed by partisan, pro-Trump, and far-right forces – threatens our values as Californians and seeks to undo the important progress we've made under Governor Newsom - fighting COVID, supporting families who are struggling, protecting our environment, common-sense gun safety laws. There's simply too much at stake – we will win."

Ten total candidates have filed their intentions to run in a potential recall election, including seven Republicans. In addition to Jenner, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Representative Doug Ose and businessman John Cox are also running on the GOP side.

A poll from the Public Policy Institute of California in late March found that a majority of Californians, 56%, would not vote to remove Newsom from office. Democrats make up 46% of registered voters while Republicans account for 24% of registrations. That's only slightly greater than the number of people registered as having no party preference. In 2003, when Democratic Governor Gray Davis was recalled, Democrats had a 44%-35% party registration advantage.

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