A Republican-led effort to recall California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has garnered enough valid signatures to make the ballot, state election officials said on Monday.
Newsom will likely face a recall next fall in a race that is already shaping up to be chaotic, as three Republicans – including transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner – have already said they will run to replace him.
The state has not yet formally approved the recall or set a date for an election. Under California law, officials have until Thursday to provide a final count of valid signatures. Voters will then be allowed an additional 30 days to remove their approval if they change their minds.
But as of Monday, backers of the petition to remove Newsom, a cause celebre among Republicans nationwide, had submitted 1.6 million valid signatures demanding a recall election, the Secretary of State’s office said.
Newsom, a former lieutenant governor and San Francisco mayor, was elected governor in 2018 with almost 62% of the vote. He would be up for re-election in 2022.
The recall effort targeting Newsom began in February 2020, led by a group called the California Patriot Coalition that opposed Newsom’s liberal politics.
The campaign has picked up steam amid frustration with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, closed schools and changing public health rules.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Leslie Adler and Karishma Singh)
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