The recall petition campaign called RecallGavin2020 that California Secretary of State Alex Padilla approved in June has reached more than 1 million signatures. It needs at least 1.5 million verified signatures by March 10 for the state to hold a special election that could unseat the Democratic governor.
“It’s absolutely gaining traction. We’re getting petitions from not only Republicans but from Democrats and Independents,” John Cox, Newsom’s 2018 Republican challenger who recently launched an exploratory committee to challenge the governor again in 2022, told Fox News. “This has just gone on too long — the mismanagement that has accompanied this pandemic.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to reporters at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. Gov. (Renée C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool, File)
Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.
California, the most populous state in the country, on Monday became the first state to surpass three million known COVID-19 cases and 33,600 deaths.
As of Sunday, the state had administered nearly 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and delivered about 3.2 million, including the first and second doses, to local health facilities, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Californians are also disappointed about unemployment fraud reaching an estimated $9 billion between March and September and backlogs that the state has been whittling down since August when it was facing about 1 million unprocessed claims.
Photo provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. (Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner via AP, File)
“Small businesses are shut down, schools aren’t open still, even though they are across the country,” Cox said. “Democrat and Republican governors across the country are doing a much better job in dealing with this crisis than Mr. Newsom, and that’s really weighing on people.”
Florida and California have seen roughly the same number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, but Florida’s economy is open and growing while California’s economy remains largely shut down.
Disney World in Orlando, Fla., has been open in July while Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., remains closed. Cox noted that these attractions employ hotel and restaurant service workers, taxi drivers, shuttle drivers and more; those people have jobs in Florida but lost them in California, he said.
“That’s just not fair,” Cox said. “Florida’s experience is not great with coronavirus — nobody’s is — but their death and case rates aren’t any more than ours, and we’re suffering economically.”
Democrats have called the recall efforts against Newsom “the California coup,” despite the fact that the recall effort is constitutional, according to the Los Angeles Times.
RecallGavin2020 issued a letter to California Democratic Party Chairman Rusty Hicks on Monday demanding the party cease and desist what it called a “campaign of slander and defamation” against the effort.
The CDP did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News.