SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Governor Gavin Newsom will face a recall election after the Republican-led effort to remove him from office reached its signature goal to qualify for the ballot on Monday, state officials reported.
It remains unclear when the election will be held.
As of Monday, more than 1,495,709 verified voters signed the recall effort, meeting the minimum threshold to force a special recall election.
The next phase of the recall process is the 30-business day period in which voters can request county elections officials to remove their names from recall petitions. County elections officials must report any withdrawn signatures to the Secretary of State within ten business days of the end of the signature withdrawal period. The Secretary of State must then determine if the petition still has the requisite number of valid signatures to initiate a recall election.
- Gov. Newsom admits mistakes, says recall isn’t justified
- Campaign to recall Gov. Newsom gains traction; meet the Sherman Oaks leader behind the movement
- Caitlyn Jenner announces run for California governor
Once the recall hits the ballot, California voters will have to decide, should Newsom be recalled? As well as, who should replace him?
If Newsom survives the recall he will be up for re-election in 2022.
Among the Republicans running to replace Newsom are reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Congressman Doug Ose and businessman John Cox, who lost badly to Newsom in 2018. So far no other Democrats have announced plans to run against Newsom.
This is only the second time that a governor recall in California has qualified for the ballot. The last time a California governor faced a recall election was in 2003 when voters chose to replace incumbent Democratic Governor Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
When Newsom was elected in 2018, he had the support of more than 60% of voters, greater than any Democratic candidate for governor in state history, according to Ballotpedia. Recalling him will be difficult since only a quarter of California's registered voters are Republicans.
Many supporters of the recall were angered by Newsom’s handling of the pandemic, especially after he was caught last fall dining at a fancy restaurant for a lobbyist’s birthday while urging residents to stay home. FOX 11 obtained exclusive images of Newsom at the outing in November.
Newsom said "of course" he regrets attending that dinner.
He launched his own anti-recall campaign in March, at which time he acknowledged mistakes in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but insisted the recall effort against him has more to do with politics than the public health crisis.