California Gov. Newsom to Face Recall Election

California Gov. Newsom to Face Recall Election California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 24 June 2021 08:06 AM

Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., will face a special election after the California secretary of state announced Wednesday that enough signatures had been compiled on a petition to recall the governor.

It will be just the second time in state history that a special election will be held to recall a sitting governor.

Only 43 of the more than 1.7 million petition signatures had been withdrawn, it was announced. The remaining number of signatures meets the threshold to initiate a recall election, which almost certainly will be held later this year, according to The Sacramento Bee.

After signatures were submitted to the state in April, voters were given 30 days to request county officials remove their signatures from recall petitions.

“Secretary [Shirley] Weber’s letter to the Department of Finance triggers the next phase of the recall process in which the DOF will estimate the costs of the gubernatorial recall if it is held as a special election and if it is held as part of the next regularly scheduled election,” a statement said.

“These estimated costs must be submitted to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Secretary of State, and the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) by August 5. Once the JLBC has had 30 days to review and comment, the Secretary of State will then certify the sufficiency of signatures pursuant to statute.”

Based on that, the Bee said “the next could take as long as 60 days, but will likely go much faster.”

In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger, R, replaced incumbent Gov. Gray Davis, D-Calif., in a special election.

The attempt to recall Newsom began in June in response to the governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He had been criticized after attending a maskless event with friends and supporters at a Napa Valley restaurant while state residents were being asked to socially distance and adhere to strict COVID-19 restrictions. Anne Dunsmore, campaign manager for Rescue California – Recall Gavin Newsom, said there was prior interest over high taxes and crime concerns, the Washington Examiner reported.

“Under Gavin Newsom’s administration, California has the nation’s highest taxes, second highest unemployment and lowest percent of kids at school. Over 2/3rd of states, including West Virginia, Mississippi and New Mexico, have done a better job of getting vaccines out to their residents,” the Rescue California website says.

“Newsom’s arrogant, elitist policies have devastated small businesses and sent many large employers elsewhere.

Some politicians had hoped to convince more signees to rescind their signatures from the petition. Lobbyist Don Perata, Former state senate president pro tempore D, in April launched a committee called “Stop the Steal,” a reference to the slogan used about the 2020 election by former President Donald Trump’s supporters.

The Bee reported the state’s finance department already had come up with a $215 million price tag for county election officials to hold a recall, which the Legislature agreed to cover.

After agreeing to include the $215 million in the budget bill, Senate President pro tempore Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, said there’s no need for the JLBC Committee to conduct its 30-day review, the Bee reported.

Recalling Newsom in the blue state poses a challenge to Republicans, some of whom believe a recall election is the best way to unseat him, the Examiner said. The governor will be up for reelection in 2020 if he avoids being recalled.

Republicans who have announced they’re running for governor include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, and reality television star and former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner.