BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom is picking up traction across the state, including in Kern County. Organizers say they are close to meeting the required number of signatures to qualify for a special recall election.
Backers behind the effort say they are collecting signatures and money with more than a month left before its deadline.
Organizers say they’ve amassed more than 1.3 million signatures on petitions for a recall, the Secretary of State says the group has until mid-March to collect about 1.5 million certified signatures for the issue to head to voters.
The last time a California governor faced a recall was 2003. Then, Gray Davis, the state’s 37th governor, was ousted by voters. Come 2021, there’s a movement to do just that to California’s 40th Governor, Gavin Newsom.
“He’s done a horrible job as governor. He needs to be fired,” said Flor Hull, the lead organizer for the “Recall Gavin 2020” campaign in Kern County.
She has assisted the campaign to collect enough voter signatures to put a special recall election on the ballot this year; in such an election, voters would be able to decide whether to stay with Newsom for the remainder of his term, or go with someone else.
So far, organizers say the recall Newsom campaign has collected 1.3 million signatures. To qualify for a special election, they need roughly 1.5 million by the March 17 deadline. Hull said she and recall supporters have collected roughly 40,000 signatures in Kern County alone.
“He’s absolutely the worst governor we’ve ever had,” Hull said. “I’ve had a lot of friends who are losing their businesses. He doesn’t have a plan. Even the vaccines are not fast enough that people don’t want to wait, it’s crazy.
Last June, Newsom enjoyed a 65% approval rating, but a UC Berkeley poll conducted last month found Newsom’s approval has dropped to 54% statewide, and 46% among registered voters across the state.
“We want our state to be blessed and we want our state back. We want a new governor,” Hal stated.”
But 17 News Democratic Analyst Neel Sannappa said the recall unfairly blames Newsom for California’s problems.
“The recall is unfair because it [was started] prior to the virus really blowing up. And so the GOP was obviously going to come after Gov. Newsom… if this recall goes through and we have a ballot in front of us, [I hope] he would have enough votes to remain our governor.”
If those backing the recall reach the 1.5 million signature threshold by the March 17 deadline, counties will still need to verify the validity of the signatures by April 29.
If signatures are verified, an election would take place. Voters will be asked if they wish to recall Newsom. If yes, a list of candidates will appear from which to choose. There is no limit on the number of candidates who may run in a recall election. The candidate who receives the most votes –even without a majority — will win the election.