Supporters of Gov. Gavin Newsom tacitly acknowledged this week that the Democratic governor will likely face a special election seeking his removal from office, as Newsom’s critics said they have collected more than 2 million signatures on petitions to force a vote later this year.
If the recall campaign’s results hold steady from last month, when state officials reported that almost 84% of the initial signatures were valid, there would be more than enough signed petitions to trigger an election. Registrars of voters in California’s 58 counties have until late April to finish reviewing the petitions.
“We have cleared another milestone,” Orrin Heatlie, the official proponent of the recall petition, said in a written statement. “Politics as usual in California are over as we know it to be.”
Heatlie’s group needs almost 1.5 million valid voter signatures to qualify the recall, a number equal to 12% of the total votes cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election. Newsom would be the second California governor and only the fourth in U.S. history to face a recall election. In 2003, the state’s voters removed then-Gov. Gray Davis and chose Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger from a list of 135 replacement candidates.
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