FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Wednesday evening, election offices across California stopped accepting signatures for the petition to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The latest returns from earlier this month show over 80% of signatures collected so far are valid. By Wednesday, recall proponents said they have collected over 2 million signatures – indicating that it is likely they will hit 1.5 million valid signatures needed to force a recall election. Gov. Newsom says those behind the recall are launching an attack from the far right.
“The reality is, it looks like it’s going on the ballot,” Newsom said at a Tuesday news conference in Alameda. “We will fight it, we will defeat it. “
Newsom also took shots at those behind the recall effort, saying it’s an attack from the far right.
“(They’re) devout conspiracy theorists that believe in ‘QAnon,’ another literally supports the insurrection on January 6th,” Newsom said.
But proponents of the recall across the state say it’s not about politics. Fred Vanderhoof who is the chair of the Fresno County Republican Party says Newsom’s handling of the pandemic transcends the political divide.
“I think he needs to realize that this is bipartisan, it’s not a party thing,” Vanderhoof said. “It’s people who can’t have their kids in school for a year now, it’s people who aren’t allowed to be in church. This is unconstitutional.”
Vanderhoof says the sheer amount of signatures will carry momentum.
“We feel really good about it. It’s hard to get 1,000,000 signatures in this state.”
Vanderhoof says the Fresno County GOP plans to hold campaign events with notable candidates running for governor – like John Cox.
County elections officials must now process and verify the last portion of signatures collected. Fresno County Clerk James Kus says updated numbers through March 10 will be released Thursday, and the tenth and final update on signatures will be released a month from now. Approximately every month since the recall officially began, reports on signatures have been released on a monthly basis. A date on the possible recall election is not final.
“The ball doesn’t really get going until that tenth date,” Kus said. “When it (the election) could actually happen, it’s a bit broad. It’s going to be toward the end of the year.”
All counties must submit verified signatures to the state no later than April 29.