It’s now official: Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom will face a recall election.
The California Secretary of State’s office confirmed on Wednesday that the recall effort had met the legal requirement of 1.5 million signatures on a petition calling for Newsom to be removed.
Only 43 of the more than 1.7 million signatures added to the petition were withdrawn, with the final count exceeding the amount needed to trigger a recall election, according to Fox News.
Under California law, those who had signed were given a 30-day window to withdraw their signatures, if they so chose. That period ended on June 8.
The next procedural steps are for the state to estimate the cost of the election and set a date for the vote, which must be held within 90 days.
The first recall election held in California occurred in 2003 — removing then-Gov. Gray Davis and replacing him with actor and soon-to-be Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Newsom’s critics said the recall vote is necessary.
California is a train wreck and Newsom is the conductor driving the state off the rails! It’s time to put this state back on track and begin to rebuild California! Vote to Recall Gavin Newsom and Rebuild California! pic.twitter.com/6kCp97E2ml
— #recallgavin2020.com (@recallgavin2020) June 18, 2021
“It’s just been one thing after another with this governor and finally he’s going to be held accountable,” state Assemblyman James Gallagher told Fox News.
Gallagher said Newsom’s COVID-19 policies were one strike against the governor, but also criticized Newsom over his lackluster wildfire prevention efforts.
“This hits really close to home for me,” he said. “I represent Paradise, a town that was decimated by a wildfire in 2018. We have kept saying that we need to put more investment into fuel reduction. These fuels have built up in our forests over the decades, mostly because we’ve got rid of any kind of forestry management in California.”
“The governor keeps telling everybody that he’s putting all kinds of money into wildfire prevention. And as it turns out, it’s been a fraction of what he’s been stating to the California public.”
Kevin Paffrath, a Democrat and California real estate agent who is running to become state governor in Newsom’s stead, said Californians are “better off trusting anybody than Gavin Newsom.”
Major Williams, a Republican seeking the office, has said Newsom “mishandled the pandemic.”
“It’s just adding more ammunition and fuel to the recall that’s coming up,” he said.
Businessman John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and television personality Caitlyn Jenner have all stated their intention of running against Newsom as Republican candidates in the recall election.
“After years of incompetence under Gavin Newsom, Californians are ready for change,” Faulconer said.
“This movement — which is powered by Democrats, Republicans, and independents — is about rebuilding our economy, cleaning up our streets, and getting our kids back in school. I am proud to lead this recall so we can begin the California Comeback for families across this state.”
Newsom has depicted the recall as an effort by radical right-wingers to remove him.
“It is what it is. This is a Republican recall,” Newsom said, according to CNN. “An RNC-backed Republican recall of White supremacists, anti-Semites and people who are opposed to immigration and immigrants is an accurate assessment of who’s behind this recall.”
CNN reported that when the recall is held, there will be two questions present on voters’ ballots. One will ask voters if they want to recall Newsom.
Those who do will then pick from a list of candidates running to replace him — by law, the current governor will not be allowed to add his name to that list.
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