Republicans are making another attempt to recall Newsom

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

Republicans are making another attempt to recall Newsom

California Politics, 2024 Elections, Homepage News, COVID-19 Pandemic

Taryn Luna

February 26, 2024

A group of Republicans involved in the failed recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday they are planning another attempt to remove him from office, a gamble that would require more than 1.3 million valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Rescue California, which led a campaign in support of the effort to recall Newsom in 2021, is the leading supporter of the new effort, said Anne Dunsmore, campaign director for Rescue California. Dunsmore said the group planned to deliver recall papers to Newsom’s office on Monday, which was first reported by Politico.

She pointed to California’s massive budget deficit and what she described as Newsom’s focus on campaigning for Democrats in other states as reasons why voters should support the recall.

“It’s not a good time for him to check out,” Dunsmore said. “But if he checks out, we’ll throw him out.”

Newsom estimates the state’s budget deficit at $37.9 billion. The Legislative Analyst’s Office, which provides budget and policy advice to the state Legislature, released an updated estimate this month showing the deficit is more than double that amount.

Newsom rejected the latest recall attempt as


Republicans’ attempt to divert attention from their unpopular push to restrict abortion and support former President Trump’s


attempt to return to the White House.

“Trump Republicans are once again launching a wasteful recall campaign to distract us from the existential struggle for democracy and reproductive freedom,” Newsom said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “We will beat them.”

The governor has raised money for Democrats in other states ahead of the election

November 2024

elections and is actively campaigning for President Biden’s re-election bid. He returned from Washington on Sunday, where he attended a meeting with other governors and the president and participated in national television interviews as a surrogate for the Biden campaign.

The new recall would be one of more than a half-dozen attempts to oust Newsom since he took office in January 2019. With the exception of the 2021 recall campaign, which was led by retired Yolo County Sheriff’s Sergeant Orrin Heatlie, all were ineligible for the statewide ballot. .

California election law requires recall petitioners to collect valid signatures from at least 12% of the total number of registered voters who participated in the last gubernatorial election to force a statewide election. They have 160 days to collect signatures.

Supporters of


Previous recalls have taken advantage of Newsom’s decision to attend a dinner at the French Laundry in Napa Valley on November 6, 2020, as an example of hypocrisy from a governor who was at the time




advised Californians to avoid indoor gatherings with other households.

That same day, the coronavirus dealt another blow to Newsom’s campaign when a judge gave recall petitioners another four months to collect voter signatures. The pandemic had


efforts to collect signatures outside supermarkets,


and proponents successfully petitioned the court for more time in a decision that was not challenged by the California Department of State.

The emergence of right-wing conservative Larry Elder as a replacement candidate helped boost Newsom’s campaign to stay in office. The final results showed that 61.9% of voters rejected the recall, while 38.1% supported the effort to remove Newsom from office in September.



Dunsmore said the recall campaign will need fewer signatures this time to qualify for the ballot. She said she also plans to send petitions to the same volunteers who distributed petitions last time.

“We don’t need to restart it at all,” she said. “We can use the resources we built up over time last time. We don’t have to spend as much money.”

A spokesperson for Newsom said the governor and his team are taking the new effort seriously. Newsom reported $11.8 million in cash in his state office


holder account at the end of the last reporting period ending in December. 31.

Elected state officials targeted by recall campaigns can raise money to defeat the effort without being subject to normal California contribution limits.

“These Trump Republicans are targeting Governor Newsom for defending democracy and fighting for the reelection of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Nathan Click, a spokesman for Newsom, said in a statement. “He will not be distracted from that fight. Democracy on the ballot, and he will continue to fight.”


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