UPDATED 8:30 AM PT – Sunday, March 14, 2021
The recall efforts against Gavin Newsom are heating up as Californians inch closer towards ousting the Democrat governor. Campaign organizers recently said they reached just over two million signatures with 1.8 million of those verified.
That number surpassed the 1.5 million verified signatures needed to force the recall measure on the ballot. However, a waiting period still remains in place where voters can withdraw their signatures.
Last week, Newsom made a statement briefly acknowledging his mistakes with handling the pandemic while brushing off the recall campaign.
“So to the California critics, who are promoting partisan power grabs and outdated prejudices and rejecting everything that makes California great,” Newsom said. “We say this: We will not be distracted from getting shots in arms and our economy booming again.”
However, the recall effort has gained the support of both Republicans and Democrats and has even attracted national attention. Critics suggested Newsom’s quick and untimely switch from strict lockdowns to opening the economy was a political strategy and not in the interest of residents’ health.
The pandemic has allowed for the petition to be extended, which gives organizers until March 17 to turn in signatures. Counties will then have until April 29 to verify those signatures.
Experts project the recall election will take place sometime in the fall. For these types of elections, whichever replacement candidate receives the most votes will become the next governor, which means someone could receive less than 50 percent of the votes and win.