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[UPDATE]: This report has been updated to include new information and reporting.
Organizers behind the effort to recall California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom said late on Wednesday evening that they have reached the number of signatures required to force a recall election this year.
The multi-million dollar movement to oust Newsom from office comes in response to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. California has had nearly a million more cases than the state with the second highest number, and just recently passed New York as the state that has had the most deaths from the pandemic.
In a since-deleted tweet, FOX 11 Los Angeles anchor Elex Michaelson wrote: “Newsom recall leader @tomdelbeccaro says his team now has over the needed 1.5 million signatures to force a recall election this year … Those signatures have to be officially verified so organizers are hoping to get 2 million signatures by mid-March so they have extras.”
Following the publication of this article, Michaelson changed his reporting to state that the group has “NOT hit the 1.5 million signatures needed to force a recall…YET,” according to a group leading the recall effort.
However, “Tom Del Becarro, chair of the Rescue California PAC (a major recall supporter), said they HAVE reached the 1.5 million vote threshold, but wants to get to 1.9 million signatures by the end of March,” Michaelson added. “Economy disputes that figure & says he’s the sole spokesman for the campaign.”
Tom Del Becarro, chair of the Rescue California PAC (a major recall supporter), said they HAVE reached the 1.5 million vote threshold, but wants to get to 1.9 million signatures by the end of March.
Economy disputes that figure & says he's the sole spokesman for the campaign.
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) February 11, 2021
Politico reporter Carla Marinucci tweeted earlier in the day: “Signature update just now received from @TomDelBecarro, chair of RescueCalifornia.org, the lead committee supporting @GavinNewsom recall: ‘We are above 1.5 million. The march to 2 million is on.’ Still must be verified, but recall qualifies with 1.4 million valid signatures.”
Signature update just now received from @TomDelBecarro, chair of https://t.co/WKBiFgrWqp, the lead committee supporting @GavinNewsom recall: "We are above 1.5 million. The march to 2 million is on." Still must be verified, but recall qualifies with 1.4 million valid signatures
— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) February 10, 2021
Rescue California disclosed an additional $200K+ in in-kind contributions to the recall earlier this morning (likely to fund this week's round of paid signature gatherers).https://t.co/RwV6iJjUsZ
— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) February 10, 2021
“Newsom’s approval rating has dropped from 64 percent in September to just 46 percent in late January, according to a poll conducted by the University of California-Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies,” The Hill reported. “While getting a recall measure on the ballot may be possible, experts have cautioned it is likely to be much more difficult to actually recall Newsom in the heavily Democratic state.”
During a press conference on Thursday, Newsom was repeatedly interrupted by chants of “recall Newsom!” while discussing the pandemic.
“The governor was making an appearance in Fresno at the city’s fairgrounds to provide an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss a new vaccine distribution site in the Central Valley,” Fox News reported. “A visibly irritated Newsom did not acknowledge the chant, as he continued to answer a reporter’s question about a vaccination site that will be created at Reedley College.”
“I’m focused every single day on getting businesses open, our schools reopened, increasing the rate of vaccinations,” Newsom claimed. “We’re committed and resolved to doing that in every part of this state. I don’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican. I care that you’re healthy and safe. And you can live your lives out loud without fear of a pandemic, and without fear of having to go back into the fits and starts this pandemic has impacted in terms of communities all across this state.”
You can hear hecklers chanting “Recall Newsom” off camera at Governor Newsom’s press conference. He’s in the Central Valley talking about vaccine rollout, ongoing negotiations to get kids back to school, youth sports, etc. Says CA has now given 5 million doses of vaccine. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/CewonYrB8D
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) February 10, 2021
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.