Secretary of State Shirley Weber certified the gubernatorial recall petition earlier Thursday against Gov. Gavin Newsome, which prompted Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis to set an election date between 60 and 80 days from date of certification. The recall that could oust California Gov. Gavin Newsom out of office is scheduled for Tuesday, September 14, Lt. Gov. Kounalakis announced Thursday.
“Although the window of time from which I could select a date was narrow, I believe we have chosen a fair and reasonable date for this election to take place,” said Lt. Gov. Kounalakis in a statement. “It has always been my intention to choose an election date that gives election officials and the Public ample time to ensure a smooth election with broad participation.”
While the signatures have only just been officially certified, Weber announced in late April that the organizer of the recall petition had collected more than the approximately 1.5 million validated signatures required.
During a 30-day period, voters who signed the recall petition could request their signatures be removed, but only 43 voters did so, Weber announced last week. More than 1.7 million signatures supporting the recall were verified.
The proclamation followed the certification of the recall election by Weber’s office Thursday. Voters will decide whether to recall the Democrat Newsom with another candidate in the election.
In response to the date being set, Juan Rodriguez, the leader of the Newsom-aligned group, “Stop The Republican Recall,” said in a statement, “This Republican recall is a naked attempt by Trump Republicans to grab control in California and powered by the same Republicans who refused to accept the results of the presidential election and are now pushing voter suppression laws across the country. On September 14, Californians will have the chance to defend our state and reject this Republican power grab once and for all.”
Newsome targeted Weber with a lawsuit on Monday, seeking to ensure his part affiliation as a Democrat would be included on recall ballots. An “inadvertent but good faith mistake on the part of his elections attorney” accounted for his party affiliation being left off his answer to the recall, the lawsuit said.
A spokesperson for the secretary of state confirmed to ABC News Tuesday that Newsom’s campaign filed a notice of his party preference to Weber on June 19, but the secretary declined to accept it, saying in a statement, “The Secretary of State’s office has a ministerial duty to accept timely filed documents. Acceptance of filings beyond a deadline requires judicial resolution.”
It’s not uncommon in California for residents to seek recalls but the rarely get on the ballot and even fewer succeed. A sitting governor has been ousted just one in the state, when unpopular Democrat Gray Davis was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
With the Democratic stronghold in California, it very unlikely that Newsome will lose his job. There are only a handful of potential candidates, at this point, so it is hard to imagine the recall to be successful.
Meanwhile Thursday, the state Finance Department released its final estimate for state and county costs to run the election would be $276 million.