SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) – The number of valid signatures required to initiate a recall of Governor Gavin Newsom has reportedly been met.
According to a statement on the California Secretary of State’s website, as of Monday, the number of valid signatures needed to start a recall was reported to her office. More than 1.6 million signatures had been verified, about 100,000 more than needed to force a vote on the first-term Democrat.READ MORE: Wild Rescue: Wildlife Biologist Finds, Brings Injured Bald Eagle To Hughson Wildlife Center For Treatment
County election officials are still required to verify the validity of the remaining signatures and report the final signature verification on April 29, 2021.
Voters have a 30-business day period in which they can request county elections officials to remove their names from recall petitions.
An election is likely in the fall where voters would face two questions: Should Newsom be recalled and who should replace him? The votes on the second question will only be counted if more than half say yes to the first.
If Newsom survives the recall he will be up for re-election in 2022.
On Monday, Gov. Newsom tweeted that the recall threatens to “undo important progress” made by California.
“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 commonsense gun violence solutions.
“There’s too much at stake.”
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 commonsense gun violence solutions.
There's too much at stake. pic.twitter.com/5ZEszlrcYlREAD MORE: Folsom Restaurateur Develops Rentable Kitchen Concept For Start-Ups Looking For Space
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 26, 2021
Among the most prominent Republicans running to replace Newsom are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, who has never run for elected office. Businessman John Cox, who lost badly to Newsom in 2018, and former Congressman Doug Ose, also are running.
In 2003, voters recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s the only other recall of a California governor to qualify for the ballot.
Newsom won election in 2018 with support from more than 60% of voters. Recalling him will be a tough sell in the heavily Democratic state where just a quarter of the state’s registered voters are Republicans, about the same number as those who identify as “no party preference.”
But organizers see an opening by energizing voters who were angered by Newsom’s handling of the pandemic and those frustrated by one-party rule in Sacramento. Republicans have not won statewide office since 2006, when voters gave Schwarzenegger a second term.
Newsom’s pandemic actions tipped the recall effort over the edge, especially after he was caught last fall dining at a fancy restaurant for a lobbyist’s birthday while urging residents to stay home.
Organizers began working to remove him from office before the coronavirus took hold in California. Orrin Heatlie, a retired county sheriff’s sergeant, decided to pursue a recall after seeing Newsom explaining the rights of immigrants living in the country illegally. He and other Republicans were also frustrated by many of Newsom’s liberal policy decisions.
Dozens of other candidates, serious and not, are expected to enter the race.
So far no other Democrats have announced plans to run against Newsom. The governor launched an anti-recall campaign in March, crafting the effort as one driven by Republican extremists and adherents to former President Donald Trump, who lost California twice.MORE NEWS: Gov. Newsom Proposes Budget That Would Send $600 Stimulus Checks To Two-Thirds Of Californians
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)