Organizers of the campaign to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom have cleared the threshold of the number of valid signatures needed to trigger a vote later this year, but it is not yet official.
Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s office said on Monday that “the requisite number of valid signatures has been reported to our office to initiate the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom. However, county elections officials must continue to verify the validity of any remaining signatures and must report the final signature verification on April 29, 2021.” The number of valid signatures stands at 1,626,042, about 100,000 more than needed. Almost 1.5 million are needed to make the ballot.
The next step will be a 30 day period in which voters may request that county officials remove their names from recall petitions. If there are still enough valid signatures, it then goes to a cost estimate, and then a review and comment period before certification.
But there is expectation among Republicans and Democrats that the recall election will go forward, as Republicans like Caitlyn Jenner, John Cox and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer have declared their intention to run. Allies of Newsom, meanwhile, have started to raise money. Such entertainment figures as Tom Rothman, Chris Silbermann, Jay Sures and Jeff Shell have been recent contributors to Newsom’s 2022 reelection campaign.
The news of the signature qualification comes on the same day that the U.S. Census Bureau announced that California will lose one congressional seat, while Texas will gain two. The Golden State will still have the largest congressional delegation, 52, but this is the first time in California’s history that it has lost a seat. The state’s population in 2020 was 39.5 million, from 37.3 million a decade earlier, with growth slowing versus other states.