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California Gov. Gavin Newsom visiting a barbershop in Oakland in June 2021. Photo: Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images

California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis on Thursday set Sept. 14 for Gov. Gavin Newsom recall election.

Why it matters: The election will be only the second time in the state's history that a gubernatorial recall campaign has succeeded in getting on the ballot.

The big picture: Calls for Newsom's ouster picked up after he was photographed at a dinner with a dozen people in Napa County as coronavirus cases surged and the state government restricted social gatherings.

Of note: California's constitution requires the lieutenant governor to declare a recall election after the secretary of state certifies the recall.

Editor's note: This story is breaking. Please check back for more details.

Go deeper

Newsom urges people to "believe your own damn eyes" on climate science

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) urged people to "believe your own damn eyes" when it comes to climate science, during remarks on Wednesday after meeting with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other administration officials to discuss the threat of wildfires on the West Coast.

Driving the news: Wildfire season has started early because of the severe drought and record-breaking heat wave affecting the Pacific Northwest. In California, the Lava Fire grew to nearly 18,000 acres overnight and is continuing to spread.

Trump's Republican critics rake in cash

Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger during the first Jan. 6 hearing. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Republican critics of Donald Trump have raked in campaign cash this year as their votes to impeach the former president and investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack have put them in the crosshairs of Trump and his allies.

Why it matters: The 2022 midterms won't just determine which party controls Congress. They're also shaping up to be a test of Trump's continued hold on the GOP. The few remaining Republican dissenters in Washington need to put up big fundraising numbers if they hope to stave off a purge.

The Republicans' mixed mandate message

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans have expressed selective rage amid the rise of the Delta variant: They rail against the return of indoor masking but are far less vocal about vaccine requirements.

Why it matters: Masking may help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, but the real solution to the pandemic is getting more Americans vaccinated. Increased support for that — including the use of heavier-handed methods like mandates — will only increase its chance of succeeding.