More than 1.5 million people have signed the petition, more than the required amount, Fox News has confirmed
The secretary of state’s office will need to process the signatures and determine if they are valid.
Randy Economy, the senior adviser and official media spokesman for Recall Gavin 2020, told Fox News on Saturday that the campaign has received around 1,509,000 signatures — more than the required amount. Organizers said they expect to have 1.6 million signatures by Sunday.
Organizers are aiming for 2 million signatures by mid-March due to the verification process and the campaign is seeking a comfortable margin. The group noted there was a 25% disqualification rate among signatures collected last time.
“We’re not there yet. We wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the milestone along the way. But our job is not done. We’re working as hard as today as we were yesterday, and we’re going to work harder tomorrow,” Economy told Fox News. “And if it wasn’t for this amazing group of volunteers that have dedicated so much of their lives, we wouldn’t have gotten to this point.”
Orrin Heatlie, the campaign’s lead proponent, said he is “confident” in the work Recall Gavin 2020 has done, but doesn’t want to become complacent.
“We are going to continue working until the very end and we have run through the tape,” Heatlie said.
A spokesperson for Newsom’s office did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
California recall initiatives are not uncommon – though they rarely make it onto the ballot.
However, people may be particularly displeased this year with Newsom, who has faced criticism over a number of recent events, including for violating his own strict coronavirus restrictions when he attended an indoor dinner party late last year. Attendees at the expensive restaurant gathering were seated closely and were not wearing masks.
The California governor eventually apologized for the incident, deeming it a “bad mistake.”
Economy, senior adviser and official media spokesman for the campaign, suggested in a previous interview with Fox News that supporters of the movement believe the governor mismanaged the coronavirus situation, adding that many small business owners in the state – like restaurants, boutique shop owners – have completely lost their livelihoods, while big-box stores, like Target, have been allowed to remain open.
Newsom “put corporate interests before the people of California,” Economy said.
Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003, was the first governor recalled in the United States since 1921. Davis was ultimately replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder and actor.
If the recall makes it onto the ballot, voters will be asked whether they want to recall Newsom and who should replace him. If a majority of voters approve the recall, the next governor will be the individual who accumulates the most votes.