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Sunday, March 26, 2023
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Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom Faces Growing Recall Threat

'To get it on the ballot is doable. California’s gubernatorial position and statewide positions are arguably the easiest recall requirements in the country...'

More than one million Californians have reportedly signed a petition to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The group looking to oust Newsom, led by retired Yolo County Deputy Sheriff Orrin Heatlie, said it has collected more than 1.3 million signatures of their goal of 2 million they hope to turn in by March 17 to force a recall election.

More than 100,000 volunteers have signed up to gather signatures, and the group has raised $2.5 million total.

“It’s old-school politics. Put up a card table and sit out in front of a grocery store. Go to a park, go where there’s people at,” said Randy Economy, a longtime political strategist advising the recall campaign.

“We’re changing the rules of the game,” he continued. “Volunteerism in politics still works.”

The Californians eager to get rid of Newsom blasted his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, arguing his restrictions are unreasonable and his vaccine rollout policies have made things worse.

“His administration is completely out of touch. They have failed miserably not only on the pandemic, but people are hurting. People are out of work,” Economy said. “You can only lock down people long enough before people really start feeling the effects of it.”

Newsom has not publicly addressed the recall attempt, but his advisers are reportedly gearing up to launch his campaign early if the recall election succeeds.

To qualify for a recall election, the organizers need to turn in about 1.5 million verified signatures. The California Secretary of State’s Office said last week it had verified 410,000 signatures that organizers had turned in so far.

“To get it on the ballot is doable. California’s gubernatorial position and statewide positions are arguably the easiest recall requirements in the country,” explained Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at the Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform at Wagner College, who researches recall elections.

Actually unseating Newsom during the recall election would be much more difficult.

Only once since the state began recording its recall efforts in 1913 has a governor been successfully booted from office. That was the 2003 recall of Democrat Gray Davis that resulted in Arnold Schwarzenegger being elected.

However, recall petitions are commonplace in California. Newsom has already faced five previous recall attempts, none of which made it to the ballot.

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