Gavin Newsom WILL face a recall election on September 14 - making him the second governor to face a mid-term challenge in California history

 California governor Gavin Newsom will face challengers in a recall election on September 14, it has been confirmed. 

Newsom, 53, a Democrat, is only the second governor in California's history to face a recall election, after a move in 2003 to recall and replace Governor Gray Davis with Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican.

The 2003 election was a circus-like campaign that featured more than 130 candidates, including a porn star and a bounty hunter.

Newsom's recall is the result of a petition that received more than 1.7 million signatures amid a political uprising largely driven by angst over state coronavirus orders that shuttered schools and businesses and upended life for millions of Californians.

The election in the nation's most populous state will be a marquee contest with national implications, watched closely as a barometer of the public mood heading toward the 2022 elections, when a closely divided Congress again will be in play.

Yet recent opinion polls showed Newsom had favorable job approval ratings - a rise driven in large part by California’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic and an economy on the upswing. 

Gavin Newsom will face a recall election, it was confirmed on Thursday, with the date set for September 14. Newsom faces no significant Democrat challengers but several Republicans

Gavin Newsom will face a recall election, it was confirmed on Thursday, with the date set for September 14. Newsom faces no significant Democrat challengers but several Republicans

Gavin Newsom has faced months of protest over his handling of the COVID pandemic

Gavin Newsom has faced months of protest over his handling of the COVID pandemic


The date was set on Thursday by Lt Gov Eleni Kounalakis, a Democrat, after election officials certified that enough valid petition signatures had been turned in to qualify the election for the ballot.

'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,' Kounalakis said in a statement released Thursday. 

'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.' 

The announcement will set off a furious, 10-week burst of campaigning through the California summer -  a time when voters typically are ignoring politics to enjoy vacationing, backyard barbecuing and travel.

Many voters have yet to pay attention to the emerging election, while polls have shown Newsom would beat back the effort to remove him. 

Republicans haven't won a statewide race in heavily Democratic California since 2006, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-elected. 

Schwarzenegger was first elected in 2003 in the first recall election in state history, to replace a Democrat, Governor Gray Davis.

Republican candidates have depicted Newsom as an incompetent fop, while Democrats have sought to frame the contest as driven by far-right extremists and supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Recall organizers gathered more than enough of the required 1.5 million petition signatures needed to place the recall on the ballot.

Conservative talk show host Larry Elder, 69, issued a brief statement on Wednesday night saying he was seriously considering entering the race and would announce his decision early next week. 

His entry into the race would give the Republican field a jolt of celebrity sparkle and a name on the ticket known through his nationally syndicated radio show and appearances on Fox News.

Newsom has become a lightning rod for conservatives during the pandemic

Newsom has become a lightning rod for conservatives during the pandemic

Other Republicans who have said they will run include Kevin Faulconer, the former Republican mayor of San Diego, Republican businessman John Cox, who was defeated by Newsom in 2018, former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose and reality TV personality and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner.

Candidates hoping to succeed Newsom also are likely to spend millions.  


Cox, of Rancho Santa Fe, who Newsom beat handily in the 2018 governor’s race, already has tapped into $7 million of his own money for the contest. 

Jenner has raised more than $330,000, a modest haul. 

The GOP field is expected to continue to grow: Candidates have until 59 days before election to file papers to declare their candidacy.

In a recall election, voters would be asked two questions: First, should Newsom be removed, yes or no? The second question would be a list of replacement candidates to choose from, if a majority of voters cast ballots to remove Newsom.

Tom Del Beccaro, a former head of the state Republican Party who chairs Rescue California, one of the groups promoting the recall, said Elder would help drive up support for the critical first question in his home Los Angeles area, the most populous in the state.

'Statewide races in California are often won or lost in L.A. county,' said Del Beccaro, who is not aligned with any candidate. 

John Cox is one of the leading Republicans to take on Gavin Newsom in September

John Cox is one of the leading Republicans to take on Gavin Newsom in September

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer speaks during a news conference in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles on February 2

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer speaks during a news conference in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles on February 2

Elder 'is going to bring a constituency that is going to help us get a 'yes' on the question No. 1.'

Steve Frank, a longtime conservative activist serving as Elder's spokesman, said his entry into the race would become 'a major game-changer.' 

People across the political spectrum 'know him, and many listen to his show.'

Elder, a black man, also would bring more diversity to the Republican ranks.

Claremont McKenna College political scientist Jack Pitney said Elder's entry into the race would be a setback for Cox because 'Elder would appeal to the hard-core Republican, conservative base that would have been Cox's base.' 

Faulconer is considered a GOP moderate.

Pitney doubted Elder's race would play a significant factor, with the black vote typically running strongly Democratic. 

Elder 'has a reputation for being a provocative conservative, not a champion of African-American interests,' Pitney said.

Meanwhile Thursday, the state Finance Department released its final estimate for state and county costs to run the election: $276 million. 

Gavin Newsom WILL face a recall election on September 14 - making him the second governor to face a mid-term challenge in California history Gavin Newsom WILL face a recall election on September 14 - making him the second governor to face a mid-term challenge in California history Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:17 Rating: 5

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