The effort to recall Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom reached the requisite number of signatures to land on the ballot later this year, according to a Monday announcement from the California secretary of state’s office.
California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber said that the threshold of verified signatures reported by counties — set at 1,495,709 — had been met. According to the latest update, 1,626,042 signatures have been submitted and verified, as Fox News reported.
“This now triggers the next phase of the recall process, a 30-business-day period in which voters may submit written requests to county Registrars of Voters to remove their names from the recall petition,” Weber said in a statement. “A recall election will be held unless a sufficient number of signatures are withdrawn.”
The recall election appears inevitable, but is not yet confirmed. As local ABC 7 reports:
Counties still have until April 29 to submit the rest of the verified signatures and that will then be followed by a 30-day period where people can withdraw their signatures. Former State Senator Don Perata has launched an effort — called “Stop the Steal” — to encourage people to remove their names from the petition. However, even Newsom’s team believes it is unlikely the effort will ultimately be successful in blocking the recall.
Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been met with intense backlash, especially after photos emerged last year showing him dining maskless indoors with friends at The French Laundry, an expensive Napa Valley restaurant that charges $1,200 per person for a one-of-a-kind multi-course dinner. Menus at The French Laundry change daily and often feature opulent ingredients like white truffle and caviar.
The state government has also met with outrage regarding its treatment of churches in the name of public health, such as Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Los Angeles or North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, which pleaded for Newsom to relent after they were fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for meeting in their building.
One of Newsom’s potential challengers includes Caitlyn Jenner, who filed paperwork to run for governor of California on Friday and rolled out a new website, confirming rumors that the transgender activist, reality TV star, and former Olympian intends to replace Newsom.
“California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” Jenner said in a statement. “I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into a reality. But for the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision.”
The last California governor to face a recall election was Gray Davis in 2003, a Democrat who was ultimately replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.