The campaign to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) reached a major milestone on Wednesday, after the Secretary of State announced that it had confirmed enough valid signatures to put the measure on the ballot later this year, as reported by Fox News.
The office of California Secretary of State Shirley Weber released a statement announcing that “a sufficient number of verified recall signatures had previously been reached by recall proponents in April. However, in accordance with California election law, voters were given a 30-day period from April 26th to June 8th to request county officials remove their signatures from recall petitions.”
During that 30-day period, only 43 California voters asked to have their names rescinded. This left well over 1.7 million signatures in support of the recall, which was above the minimum required threshold of approximately 1.5 million. This confirms that California will hold the fourth gubernatorial recall election in American history later this year, which will also be the second such election in California’s history.
The recall election, according to California law, must now be held within the next 90 days. California’s Department of Finance has now been tasked with determining how much it will cost to hold the special election.
Already numerous candidates have jumped into the race to replace Newsom, with most of them being Republicans or independents. Among the most prominent candidates are “transgender” reality TV star Bruce Jenner, businessman and 2018 gubernatorial nominee John Cox, former Congressman Doug Ose, and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Other possible candidates who have expressed interest include former German Ambassador Ric Grenell, California State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and actor Randy Quaid.
The recall has been primarily attributed to Newsom’s poor leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, as he had implemented some of the strictest lockdown measures in the nation, which severely damaged and even destroyed numerous small businesses across the state. His popularity took a major hit when he was photographed having a dinner party at a luxurious Bay Area restaurant called the French Laundry, with a group of people larger than 10, indoors, and not wearing masks, all in violation of his own orders.
If recalled, Newsom would become only the third governor in American history to be removed from office in such a manner, after North Dakota’s Lynn Frazier in 1921 and California’s Gray Davis in 2003. If he survives, he would be the second governor to ever do so, after Wisconsin’s Scott Walker in 2012.