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Newsom admits mistakes in handling of pandemic, knocks recall effort

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Newsom Caitlyn Jenner in new campaign video slams California for being No. 1 in regulations, taxes and 'people exiting' California gubernatorial candidate under investigation for 1,000 lb. bear campaign mascot Newsom proposes transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds in California MORE (D) said in a new interview that he regrets mistakes he made in handling the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak over the last year. 

But the embattled governor rejected a petition to recall him from office, an effort that had earned more than 2 million signatures from residents as of last week. 

“It’s about immigration. It’s about our health care policies. It’s about our criminal justice reform. It’s about the diversity of the state. It’s about our clean air, clean water programs, meeting our environmental strategies,” Newsom told local television station KQED about attacks by his critics on his administration's broader policy agenda, The Associated Press reported

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A group called RecallGavin2020 started a petition this year to get a ballot measure that would, if approved, remove Newsom from office. The group cites his handling of the pandemic, especially the harm they say his executive orders have caused to small businesses. 

“The People of California are speaking loud and clear. We have cleared another milestone. Politics as usual in California are over as we know it to be,” Orrin Heatlie, chairman of the California Patriot Coalition, RecallGavin2020 Committee, said, The Hill previously reported

Newsom faced backlash and charges of hypocrisy after being spotted dining indoors at an expensive French restaurant as the state remained on widespread lockdown as a result of orders he put in place. 

“You know, I owned up to that. And no one hid from that. And that was a mistake. Crystal clear,” he reportedly told the station about the incident.

“In many respects, we could have gone a little earlier with this overlay, and that’s something in hindsight you consider and you reflect on at the same time,” he added in regard to the state's vaccine distribution to vulnerable communities. 

The group has already submitted some signatures to local registrars, and a recall election could be held 60 to 80 days after the final certification of signatures.