A group of influential California Democratic leaders held a press conference July 2 to pledge their support for Gov. Gavin Newsom against what they are calling the “Republican Recall,” and to remind Californians, from their point of view, what the state will lose if that effort succeeds.
“This recall is a partisan power grab – nothing more, nothing less — a cynical attempt by national Republicans to force an election, and to try to seize control in California,” said U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, former California Secretary of State and California’s first Latino U.S. Senator.
Stating that the recall threatens advances California’s Democratic leadership has made, Padilla continued, “This Republican recall effort is powered by the same forces who still refuse to accept the results of the presidential election in 2020. They are pushing voter suppression efforts in statehouse after statehouse across the country.”
Other Democratic leaders participating in the press conference were Rusty Hicks, chair of the California Democratic Party; Robert Garcia, mayor of Long Beach: Holly Mitchell, Supervisor, Los Angeles County; and Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco).
“When you think about what he has been able to do around protecting the environment, education, expanding opportunity for our low income and working families – and middle-income Californians – as well as justice for all Californians, its crystal clear to me that Gov. Newsom is the kind of leader we need at a time like this,” said Mitchell.
Last week, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis announced Sept. 14 as the date for the recall election after the state verified Newsom’s opponents had collected the1,495,709 signature they needed (12 % of the total votes in the last gubernatorial election) to officially trigger the recall process.
“In just a few weeks, every Californian is going to get a ballot in the mail. And you have to fill out the ballot. Mark ‘no” and return it by September 14. If you prefer to go in person, you can do that at your local polling place on September 14. You can find information about that on our Secretary of State website,” said Chiu, urging Californians to support Newsom.
The effort to recall Newsom began in 2020 led by a former Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy, Orrin Heatlie, with the support of a group called the California Patriot Coalition. They criticized the governor for high taxes, what they perceived as inaction on the drought, pro-illegal immigrant policies and other grievances. The movement gained traction during the COVID-19 global pandemic when larger numbers of Californians became resistant to the governor’s pandemic-related business closures and other restrictions.
To recall Newsom, more than 50 % of voters would have to check yes on that option, which will be the first question on the ballot. If more than 50 % of voters agree to Newsom’s recall, the candidate on the ballot (the governor will not be included as a choice) with the highest number of votes will qualify as Newsom’s replacement.
Tom Del Beccaro, a vocal supporter of the recall and chair of RescueCalifornia.org, a political action committee galvanizing