The Republican-led effort to unseat California Gov. Gavin Newsom has collected enough valid signatures to trigger a recall election, state officials said Monday.
Such an election, if not stopped by legal action or voters recanting their support, would be only the second of its kind in state history.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said more than 1.6 million signatures supporting the recall election had been verified, meaning the effort collected 100,000 signatures more than necessary to qualify for the ballot.
“This now triggers the next phase of the recall process, a 30-business-day period in which voters may submit written requests to county Registrars of Voters to remove their names from the recall petition,” Weber said in a statement.
“A recall election will be held unless a sufficient number of signatures are withdrawn,” she said.
The Lieutenant Governor holds the ultimate authority to set the date for such a recall election, but it’s expected it would happen in the fall.
The recall effort was fueled by Republican frustration with the heavily Democratic state’s virtual one-party rule and voters who blamed Newsom for the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that shut down businesses and schools.
Among the most prominent Republicans running to replace Newsom are reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, who confirmed her candidacy last week.
In 2003, voters recalled Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and replaced him with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, another name who got his start in athletics and entertainment before moving into conservative politics.
If Newsom survives the recall, as expected, he will be up for reelection in 2022.