A push to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is picking up speed, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
So far, “just under 300,000 signatures have been filed” in the recall petition, organizers told the AP, but more than 500,000 others are said to be on the way.
At 800,000 combined, that’s more than halfway to the 1,495,709 signature threshold that would trigger a vote on the matter, according to the AP.
Organizers are reportedly aiming for two million signatures, however, in case some are disqualified for one reason or another.
In California, this is the most momentum there has been for a gubernatorial recall since 2003, when Gray Davis was recalled and Arnold Schwarzenegger took over, as the AP noted in its report. The push to recall Newsom is largely driven by California residents who are dissatisfied with the way the Democrat has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
At the top of the list of grievances would likely be Newsom’s overbearing orders. Lockdowns have been imposed that have kept schools and businesses closed amid the pandemic.
It didn’t help matters that, while residents were suffering, Newsom was caught breaking his own COVID-related rules when he attended a dinner party at a pricey restaurant in California’s Napa County last month, as Fox News reported.
At the event, social distancing was not practiced and masks were not worn, according to reports.
A look ahead
Of course, even with these PR nightmares, recalling Newsom is not going to be an easy task. If petitioners are successful in bringing the matter up for a vote, Newsom will have large amounts of funding at his disposal, as there’s no cap on donations for such a race and Democrats outnumber Republicans in the Golden State roughly 2-to-1, according to the AP.
According to Fox, activists “have until March 17 to continue gathering recall signatures.”
After that, it remains unclear when a vote would be held. The AP reports that “[r]ecall organizers hope the date would be scheduled in July or August,” but there’s no law on the matter.
They still need hundreds of thousands of signatures, but it’s obvious that these activists won’t stop fighting until they have better leadership in California. A year like 2020 has made it more clear than ever that lives are at stake here.