The San Francisco Department of Elections announced on Tuesday that the petition to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin had received enough valid signatures, officially certifying a recall election in June.
Boudin has faced recall pressures since shortly after being sworn in in January 2020, but a skyrocketing crime rate, large store chains fleeing the city, public outcry over policies that let most criminals avoid jail time, and collapsing support from both the police and members of his department alike quickly boosted the number of recall petition signers and supporters. Other successful petitions leading to recalls collected this year, such as those against Governor Gavin Newsom and members of the San Francisco Board of Education, only made supporters more determined to have their second petition succeed.
Last month, recall supporters, led by the Safer SF Without Boudin group, announced that 83,484 signatures had been collected and sent in – well over 30,000 more than the minimum needed. Boudin himself finally acknowledged the possibility of a recall last month and has begun to give speeches and talks against the recall.
On Tuesday, Department of Elections officials finally announced that 5% of signatures randomly chosen included enough validated to confirm that the recall election against Boudin would be taking place.
“Today the Department of Elections certified that the petition to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin contains a sufficient number of valid signatures and that the petition is successful,” said Director of Elections John Arntz in a letter to petition organizers. “As prescribed under California Elections Code 11225, the Department reviewed 4,174 signatures (5% of the total submitted) that were randomly selected from the 83,484 signatures submitted with the petition. Based on this review, the Department determined the petition contained a number of valid signatures greater than the minimum of 51,325 signatures required for the petition to be deemed successful.”
????A huge day that I am very proud of! ????https://t.co/WOvENZELpW
— The Campaign to Recall Chesa Boudin (@recallchesa) November 9, 2021
Those in favor of the recall celebrated the final hurdle of making it to an election, with many noting that a lot can still happen in the half a year until the recall election.
“We all knew the certification was coming ever since they announced just how many signatures they turned in,” said Joe Rodriguez, a former sheriff’s deputy who now works as a crime victim advocate, to the Globe on Tuesday. “I mean he got more signatures than the anti-Newsom group got during theirs.”
“But, as good news as this is, we need to step back and look at the road going into 2022. This is far from a foregone conclusion, and Boudin may scale back some of his criminal measures to make it look like his policies aren’t so bad. We’ll be seeing a few high profile arrests where he throws the book at them most likely, and he’ll bring out stats that show his policies are working and that crime isn’t really that high in the city. We already know his game plan. The big question is if it will work.”
However, many supporters remain optimistic at the recall chances, as recall supporters have been out-fundraising Boudin supporters so far with $1.6 million raised to $650,000 raised. Even more encouraging is party support numbers. While those in favor of ousting Newsom statewide were only comprised of about 1/3rd Democrats, the supporters in the recall Boudin effort are at about 80% Democratic, making any assertions that the recall is “Republican-run” inherently false.
“Do the majority of Republicans in San Francisco want Boudin gone? You betcha,” said Bay area pollster Cheryl Taylor to the Globe on Tuesday. “But San Francisco is majority Democrat. Strong majority. A GOP led fight against Boudin would never succeed. This is something else, and that’s why Boudin is scared. That confirmation today showed that a huge chunk of the city didn’t like him enough to sign a petition. Imagine what the election, which is being held during a primary, will bring.”
The recall election against Boudin will be held on the same day as the statewide primary: June 7, 2022. If Boudin is recalled, Mayor London Breed would pick an interim DA until a formal vote for DA in the November 2022 general election.
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