The recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom was confirmed on Monday following the Secretary of State’s office updating their validated signatures in the recall effort to be 1,626,042, well above the 1.495 million needed.
While previous efforts in 2019 and 2020 failed to garner enough signatures, public outcry over the Governor’s handling of COVID-19 lockdowns and the harm it did to businesses, owners and employees statewide, as well as continued outrage over years worth of questionable and controversial decisions, letting $31 billion in unemployment fraud occur under his administration, and being caught lying about properly social distancing himself during the height of the lockdown late last year, fueled the signature gathering success of the latest recall signature gathering effort.
And California’s public school children still are not back in school.
According to the Secretary of State report released Monday, just over 80% of the 2.18 million signatures were validated.
This is big: The largest blocks of support county-wise came from from Southern California, with Los Angeles County alone reported over 264,000 validated signatures, followed by Orange County with 215,000 validated signatures, San Diego County with 156,000, and Riverside County with 146,000. The Central and Sacramento Valleys also showed high numbers of signatures, with Fresno County clocking in 59,000 and Sacramento County showing a total of 61,000. San Francisco County, home county of Governor Newsom, only brought in 9,400 signatures – the greatest signature-population disparity in a county.
Los Angeles has been especially noted as a prime county for signatures, as the majority collected there had actually been registered Democrats rather than Republicans. Overall, more than 30% of the signatures gathered had come from non-Republicans, such as Democrats, Libertarians, and those choosing no party affiliation.
The validation of the recall capped off an effort nearly a year in the making, surprising many political experts by not only collecting upwards of 100,000 signatures a week, but by actually succeeding in a blue state with a majority Democratic registered voter population.
Governor Newsom recall election to happen later this year, as candidates line up for recall
“The People of California have done what the politicians thought would be impossible. This recall movement to remove Governor Gavin Newsom from office has reached yet another milestone,” said Orrin Heatlie, Lead Proponent of the Recall Gavin Newsom campaign and founder of the California Patriot Coalition, in a press release on Monday. “Our work is just beginning. Now the real campaign is about to commence. This is extremely important to us here in California and others across America. We hope that people who support our effort can make a donation to support our campaign.”
Other recall effort leaders noted similar tones on Monday.
“California is at a crossroad,” added Senior Advisor and Spokesman for RecallGavin2020 Randy Economy. “People are frustrated at the destructive policies, divisive politics and manipulative tactics conducted by Gavin Newsom since the day he became governor. We cannot continue to allow one elected official in California to control each aspect of our lives without checks and balances.”
OFFICIAL STATEMENT from #RECALLGAVIN2020
"From Long Shot to Imminent, Secretary of State announced today, sufficient signatures have been submitted to qualify for a special election to recall Governor @GavinNewsom https://t.co/hAyn2EmsOp
— Randy Economy, Sr. Advisor @ #RecallGavin2020 (@EconomyRadio) April 26, 2021
While there is no date currently set for the recall, the number of challengers in the election should Newsom be voted out has grown in recent weeks. Currently, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, 2018 GOP Gubernatorial candidate John Cox, former Congressman Doug Ose, and former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner have entered the race as candidates who have a fair amount of support, monetary backing, or public recognition. Other possible candidates have been mentioned such as former Ambassador Ric Grenell, with others, such as former state Senator John Moorlach and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, not denying being interested in a run.
“They did it. They actually did it,” said former lobbyist Harry Schultz to the Globe on Monday. “Now it’s going to be a mad dash to the fall. Newsom is just starting to improve his image and support right now, so he is going to be on eggshells the rest of the year hoping to avoid anything big that can cost him votes. He’s playing it off as being confident that he won’t lose, but [former Governor] Gray Davis did the same thing 18 years ago. This is going to be a crazy rest of the year.”
The date for the recall election is to be set sometime after final signature validation on April 29th.