Newsom: Recall effort 'appears to have the requisite signatures'

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomApple, Nordstrom stores hit in latest smash-and-grab robberies Ted Cruz ribs Newsom over vacation in Mexico: 'Cancun is much nicer than Cabo' San Francisco DA charges 9 involved in organized retail thefts MORE (D) on Tuesday recognized that the recall effort aimed at ousting him from office will likely have enough signatures to spark a special election this year.

“I've only been in office 25 months. Just in 25 months, there's been six efforts to put a recall on the ballot. This one appears to have the requisite signatures,” Newsom said during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”

ADVERTISEMENT

On March 7, leaders of the effort to recall Newsom said they had collected enough signatures to prompt a special election. According to KCRA, 1.4 million signatures are needed for the recall to qualify, which is 12 percent of the votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election.

The leaders said they had gathered 1.95 million signatures but that they were aiming for 2 million before the March 17 deadline.

Election officials, however, still have to confirm that the signatures are from registered California voters before taking action. In early February, the secretary of state’s office found that about 83 percent of the signatures collected at that point were verified, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Newsom said he is concerned about the effort and that he is taking the matter seriously.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Am I worried about it? Of course I'm worried about it,” Newsom told the show’s co-hosts. “The nature of these things, the up-or-down question, the zero-sum nature of the question is challenging. ... We're taking it seriously.”

Newsom said his concern with the recall is that the supporters of the campaign are seeking to undermine the values of the California Democratic Party. He cited immigration issues, climate policies, efforts to end the death penalty, and the fight for pay equality and an increased minimum wage as what's “at stake” in the recall.

“If you look at the list of grievances from the proponents of this campaign, it goes to our values. It's less about me; it's more about California and our values, Democratic Party values,” Newsom said.

He continued, “Guys like me come and go. The end of the day, these principles are what we're fighting for.”

The recall movement gained momentum as Californians became more critical of Newsom’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, especially the restrictions against gatherings and on particular businesses.

In a separate interview on Friday, the governor said he regretted mistakes he had made in handling his state’s response to the coronavirus over the past year, including a photograph that revealed him dining indoors at the height of the pandemic, when the state was on a widespread lockdown as a result of the restrictions he put in place.

A poll conducted by Emerson College for Nexstar Media found that California voters are split over the Newsom recall. The survey found that 42 percent of voters in the state would choose to keep the governor in office, while 38 percent would vote to recall him.

The poll also found that 45 percent approved of Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus, while 44 percent disapproved.

Newsom won the 2018 gubernatorial race with 62 percent of the vote in a state where both chambers of the legislature are controlled by a supermajority of Democrats.

The Hill reached out to the California Patriot Coalition's Recall Governor Gavin Newsom for comment.