The California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom will face a recall election, marking the second time in the state’s history that a special election will be held to remove a sitting governor, as CNN reported. California Secretary of State Shirley Weber wrote in a letter to the Department of Finance that only 43 signatures were withdrawn state-wide on the petition to qualify the withdrawal on the ballot. The remaining 1,719,900 verified signatures far exceed the threshold for the withdrawal to begin.
State officials confirmed on Wednesday that an impeachment election would take place after only 43 people withdrew their signatures on petitions to remove the governor, during a 30-day period required by state law. As a result, the California Department of Finance will now begin to estimate the costs of the revocation, including the costs of holding it as a special election or as part of the next regularly scheduled election, which will then be presented to the governor and other officials of the Joint Legislative Budget by August 5, according to a letter from California Secretary of State Shirley Weber outlining the process.
A spokesperson for the California Department of Finance previously told CNN that the state governor’s recall election would cost about $ 215.2 million. The campaign to impeach Newsom has been fuelled by anger at the restrictions the governor put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 over the past year, amid an alarming increase in cases across California. Critics of Newsom had reached the threshold required by the state to hold a recall election in April, after an extensive effort to gather signatures from all counties, which was backed by Republican strategists.
But Newsom and his team have framed the withdrawal as an effort by supporters of former President Donald Trump and right-wing extremists to wrest control of the government from Democrats. Two questions would be asked by the State voters on the revocation ballot. The first question is: Do you want to vote “yes” or “no” to remove Newsom, who was elected in 2018 with almost 62% of the vote?
The second will be: Which candidate would they like to replace Newsom with and whether they will choose from what is probably a very long list of names (candidates from different parties will appear on the same list). By law, Newsom cannot add his name to the ballot as an option. Several candidates have already announced campaigns to take on Newsom, including Olympic gold medallist and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, who is running as a Republican. Fellow Republicans Kevin Faulconer, John Cox, and Doug Ose are also in the race to topple Newsom.