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‘Recall Newsom’ leader says petition has signatures to force vote
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Leaders of the ongoing effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom have amassed enough signatures to trigger a special election this year, they announced.
Speaking at a press conference across the street from the state Capitol in Sacramento on Sunday, leaders of the recall effort revealed that they had collected 1.95 million signatures with just under two weeks left before the March 17 deadline.
“That is more than enough to be able to have this initiative qualified for a special election later this year to let the people finally decide … what is going to happen with the fate and the future of California Gov. Gavin Newsom,” Randy Economy, a leader in the RecallGavin2020 effort, told reporters.
Those pushing to recall Newsom have to collect 1,495,709 signatures to spark a statewide vote, which would take place later this year.
Those signatures, however, must be verified, as many could be found ineligible and removed.
By amassing more signatures, organizers will be able to ensure they will still meet the nearly 1.5 million needed even if hundreds of thousands are deemed unusable.
The California Secretary of State’s Office said early last month that about 83 percent of the signatures collected up to that point were valid. That does not guarantee that the eligibility rate will remain high.
Newsom, a Democrat, is not up for re-election until 2022.
In the past year, he has seen his approval rating plummet in response to the stringent restrictions he placed on businesses and the state’s closure of schools, neither of which played a strong role in actually stopping the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Things became worse for the state’s Democratic leader when he was caught violating his own coronavirus rules at a mask-less dinner party at posh Napa Valley eatery French Laundry in November.
For his part, Newsom has declined to address the recall during public appearances or in interviews.
In his first statement on the matter released Monday after the effort reached the point of inevitability, Newsom spokesman Dan Newman slammed the push as “hyper-partisan” and a “scheme.”
“After months of chanting ‘stop the steal’, these hyper-partisan Republicans continue to tilt at windmills, despite California’s progress on vaccinating and safely reopening,” he began.
“The Republican recall scheme is a transparently partisan attempt to install a Trump-supporter as Governor of a state that elected Newsom and rejected Trump in historic landslides. These Republicans want to waste energy, attention, and $100 million of taxpayer funds — all of which should stay focused on vaccinating, recovering, and reopening.”
As for Newsom’s political standing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month that President Biden does not support the effort and is standing by the governor.
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