FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – The numbers in the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom continue to grow. Following an announcement in Sacramento on Sunday, the recall campaign says they have about 1,950,000 signatures so far.
1,500,000 need to be verified to be consider valid for the petition.
The latest returns to the Secretary of State’s office in early February found, of the 1,094,000 signatures returned at that point, 83% were validated. Following that trend, recall proponents believe they will have the 1,500,000 verified signatures required by the March 17 deadline.
“That is more than enough to be able to have this initiative qualified for a special election later this year,” said Randy Economy, spokesperson for the Recall Newsom campaign.
Chair of the Fresno County Republican Party Fred Vanderhoof believes the signature momentum will continue.
“We’ve got ten days left, and I think we’re going to make in excess of 2 million,” said Vanderhoof.
But a longtime member of the Fresno County Democratic Party feels even if the recall election happens later this year, the solid Democrat voting block will keep Newsom in office.
“I doubt seriously that California is going to elect anybody from any other party to replace him, we’re not going to elect a Republican to statewide office,” said David Rowell of the Fresno County Democratic Party. “We’re not going to elect a Republican governor in California.”
But Fred Vanderhoof disagrees. He points back the successful gubernatorial recall of Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, in 2003 when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor.
“This isn’t just Republican,” Vanderhoof said. “This cuts across the demographic of all Californians. School closures affect everybody, all demographics, the business closures.”
David Rowell thinks the recall effort is driven by conservatives’ anger with the way Newsom has handled the pandemic. Rowell feels in these unprecedented times, the blame can’t be put solely on Newsom.
“I think it’s mostly partisan,” Rowell said. “In Fresno County, I haven’t heard from a single Democrat who says they want Newsom out of office.”