Campaign to Recall Gov. Gavin Newsom Qualifies for California Ballot

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Author: Shawn Hubler
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Campaign to Recall Gov. Gavin Newsom Qualifies for California Ballot

On the night of the dinner, 55,588 people had signed the petitions. One month later, there were nearly 500,000 signatures.

Recall attempts are common in California, but few make it onto the ballot. Petitions for removal from office have been filed against every governor in the last 61 years.

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The only governor to be recalled, however, was Gray Davis, who was ousted in 2003 by Arnold Schwarzenegger as the state strained to rebound from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the dot-com bust, and rolling blackouts. After he took office, Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, faced his own barrage of attempted recalls.

Mr. Newsom’s supporters have stressed the crossover between recall backers and supporters of former President Donald J. Trump, QAnon conspiracy theories and the anti-vaccine movement. The recall’s chief proponent, Orrin Heatlie, a retired sheriff’s sergeant from Yolo County in the Sacramento area, had joked on Facebook about microchipping migrants. Mr. Heatlie has said that he published the comment to be provocative but that it was not meant to be taken literally.

On Monday, the governor’s campaign warned that the pro-Trump and far-right activists behind the recall would seek to roll back the state’s progress in controlling the pandemic, protecting the environment and legislating gun control.

Juan Rodriguez, the manager of Stop the Republican Recall, said in a statement that the move to remove the governor “threatens our values as Californians and seeks to undo the important progress we’ve made under Governor Newsom.”

Proponents of the recall, however, framed it as a bipartisan referendum on the governor and the policies of a state whose leadership has been dominated in recent years by Democrats. Mr. Faulconer, who governed as a moderate in San Diego, called it a “historic opportunity to demand change” for Californians of all political parties.

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