Roughly a year since the coronavirus boosted his national profile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has perhaps never been closer to losing his job.
The Democrat governor and his party suffered a major setback on Sunday as a recall campaign against Newsom announced it had garnered 1.95 million signatures with just days to go until a St. Patrick’s Day deadline, as Fox News reported.
The organizers of the recall celebrated the milestone in Sacramento on Sunday.
Organizers’ goal within reach
Although the recall campaign only needs about 1.5 million signatures to get on the ballot, organizers want about 2 million in case some can’t be verified. Orrin Heatlie, the founder of the California Patriot Coalition–Recall Gavin Newsom 2020, said they still want to “bridge that 2 million mark,” according to Fox.
The deadline to gather signatures is March 17, which comes roughly a year after coronavirus-related lockdowns began disrupting life in America.
If the petition is successful, the lieutenant governor will announce a recall within 60 to 80 days of the signatures being verified, which must be completed by April, according to ABC 7 in Los Angeles. The recall could fall sometime in the summer or fall of this year.
A top adviser to Recall Gavin Newsom 2020 told Fox News that the validation rate has been around 82% so far. “One thing we want to let everybody know here, especially to the politicians across the street and the lobbyists that have destroyed California’s dream for decades and generations is that your game’s over,” Randy Economy said. “From now on, the people are in charge of California.”
Californians would also have the opportunity to elect Newsom’s successor as they decide whether to recall him, reports note.
Newsom lashes out at “recall scheme”
Amid COVID-19, Newsom has consistently had some of the strictest lockdown policies nationwide, and he was the first governor to shut down his state in light of the pandemic. He later became perhaps the singular face of lockdown hypocrisy last year when he was caught ignoring his own rules while dining out at a luxury restaurant.
Anger with Newsom’s COVID response, as well as out-of-control crime, homelessness, government overreach, and corruption that have sullied an otherwise beautiful state, have the Democrat’s career on the ropes like never before.
The only time a governor has been recalled in California was in 2003, when Gray Davis was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, as ABC 7 reported.
Newsom, for his part, has lashed out at the “recall scheme,” which he calls a “transparently partisan attempt to install a Trump supporter as governor of a state that elected Newsom and rejected Trump in historic landslides,” according to CBS Sacramento.