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Republican-led campaign reaches enough signatures for Gavin Newsom recall election

By Destiny De La Cueva and Marvin Alberto

Sacramento citizens gather petition signatures during the Recall Gavin Newsom Campaign. Photo courtesy of Anne Wernikoff from CalMatters.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will face a recall election as a Republican-led campaign has reached enough signatures. 

On April 26, the California Secretary of State, Shirley Weber, confirmed that elected officials verified more than 1.6 million validated signatures, passing the minimum requirement of 1.5 million. 

“Today was monumental, the Secretary of State just announced that we reached our threshold…we’re at 1,626,042 signatures,” said Randy Economy, the official media spokesman for the campaign. “Retail politics still matter here in California. Grassroots politics is the wave of the future and the way it should be.” 

The campaign, which started weeks prior to the initial shutdown of the pandemic, had halted efforts because of the lockdown and picked up steam several months later after Newsom was seen gathering with others at French Laundry, a restaurant in Napa. 

Newsom’s decision to gather during the height of the pandemic upset many conservative Californians, which helped the campaign get a boost by giving them the signatures needed. 

“We really picked up steam in November when Gov. Newsom took his trip to French Laundry and we went from 59,000 to, I believe, 500,000 in less than a couple weeks,” said Economy. 

As the campaign gained more momentum, it received many supporters, including the California Republican Party.  

This recall campaign is not the first to exist, but it is the first to gain enough signatures to force an election. 

There are anti-recall efforts in place by Democratic Californians as well as Democratic politicians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Cory Booker. 

In a tweet on Monday, Newsom wrote, “This Republican recall threatens our values and seeks to undo the important progress we’ve made — from fighting COVID, to helping struggling families, protecting our environment, and passing common sense gun violence solutions. There is too much at stake.” 

Californians who signed the petition still have 28 business days to withdraw their signatures, though Economy expects more signatures to be added to the petition. 

 “We’re going to see people demand to have more names on the petition, but what I think this sends is that it lets people know that there’s a new California,” Economy said. “It’s about people. And regardless of who you are as a politician, regardless of how powerful you are…the one who has the ultimate power is the voter. And I think Gavin Newsom forgot about that.” 

The recall election, though there have been no confirmed dates, is expected to take place this fall.

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