A petition to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom following a year of his strict COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions is gaining traction throughout the state, leading many to believe the Democrat has reason to worry.
By more than one month before its March 17, 2021, due date, an official petition to remove the governor from office had garnered more than 1.4 million signatures from California residents seeking to trigger a special election and vote Newsom out of office. Although some of those signatures will almost certainly be disqualified, Californians leading the recall effort need to secure only 1,495,709 total legitimate signatures in order to successfully trigger a recall vote.
“Governor Gavin Newsom continues to destroy the lives and businesses of hardworking Californians. Help stop this tyrant before it’s too late,” the official Recall Gavin Newsom website states.
The stakes of this petition, proponents of the campaign say, are high because Newsom has wronged his state in more ways than one. In addition to plunging an economy into hardship through a year of tyrannical coronavirus lockdowns that Newsom himself violated, dining maskless and indoors at a three-star Michelin restaurant, the petition notes that the governor continually fails to address “unaffordable housing, record homelessness, rising crime, failing schools, independent contractors thrown out of work, and exploding pension debt” problems that face his constituents daily.
Newsom also continues to struggle with the state’s vaccine rollout and prioritization, a confusing process that he admits is not going as well as he had hoped. “On vaccines, we can’t move fast enough,” Newsom announced on Monday. “We need to see more doses coming into the state to keep these sites up and running.”
The Democrat, once heralded and popularized by his party as a model governor, currently has 46 percent of the state’s voters’ approval, down nearly 20 points since just September. Earlier last year, polls indicated that two-thirds of the states’ voters were frustrated with the governor and his decisions. Now, with just tens of thousands more signatures needed from angry, frustrated Californians, Newsom could potentially face the consequences of his mishandlings and be forced to run against his Republican challengers, including businessman John Cox, whom Newsom beat in a previous election, and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, to keep his elected position.
“The California delegation as we sit today is … in favor of it,” California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes told a local radio host last week.
While the corporate media remain skeptical of the recall effort’s prospects, some have acknowledged that the movement, with the support and endorsements of well-known Republican officials such as Nunes, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and the California Republican Party, will most likely continue to grow.
Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.