Updated Jun 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Gavin Newsom to face recall election

Gavin Newsom
Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will face a recall election later this year, California's Secretary of State confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: This will be the second time in California's history that a gubernatorial recall campaign has succeeded in getting on the ballot, out of a total of 55 attempts, per Bloomberg.

The state of play: The effort to recall Newsom has gained speed, with the Republican-led movement reaching enough votes in April to get on the ballot.

  • In accordance with state law, a 30-day window between April 26 and June 8 was given for voters to withdraw signatures from recall petitions if they wished to.
  • 43 signatures were withdrawn statewide, leaving a certified total of 1,719,900 verified signatures.

The big picture: While Newsom's approval rating faired well at the start of the pandemic, changing public health policies frustrated some Californians, per the New York Times.

  • In November 2020 the governor saw criticism after being photographed at a dinner at the the French Laundry, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Napa County, as COVID-19 cases surged across the state.
  • Signatures on the recall petition surged following that dinner, per the Times.

Newsom also reportedly misled the public about the progress his office had made in shoring up wildfire prevention according to an investigative report by CapRadio and NPR’s California Newsroom.

    • Our thought bubble via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Californians are now experiencing the start of another potentially historic fire season amid an extreme drought, both of which are aggravated by climate change.
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