California GOP sees potential to win governorship amid Newsom recall effort

With 1.5 million signatures required, about 1.3 million have signed the recall effort.

Published: February 3, 2021 11:06am

Updated: February 3, 2021 12:36pm

With just a few weeks left in the effort in California to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, over 1.3 million residents have signed the petition to remove the Democratic governor, and some Republicans are already announcing their intent to run for the potentially open seat.

A total 1.5 million signatures must be submitted by March 10, and the RecallGavin2020 organizer's goal is to reach 1.8 million signatures to leave some cushion room for rejected signatures. 

The recall effort began in June 2020 when residents became frustrated by what appeared to be Newsom's disregarding his own coronavirus health-safety orders amid his mandated lockdowns on dining, in-class learning and other parts of daily life.

In early November 2019, Newsom attended a Napa Valley-based restaurant with a dozen friends for the birthday of lobbyist Jason Kinney, in apparent violation of his own orders.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has announced his plans to challenge Newsom if the recall qualifies to be on the ballot this year, if it does not, he plans to run in the 2022 election. 

"It is time to be a voice for Californians who are suffering because Sacramento can't do the basics," Faulconer told the Times. "This campaign is going to be about restoring balance and common sense to California, to get people back to work, to get our kids back to school and to get people proud of our state again."

John Cox, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully against Newsom in 2018, says he will try again if the recall goes through.

Mike Cernovich, a registered independent who has supported Trump, also plans to run for the office.

If enough signatures are collected by mid-March, two questions will go onto the ballot in an election later this year: Do you support the recall of Newsom and which candidate do you want to replace him if the recall is successful?

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