CALIFORNIA—Governor Gavin Newsom is reportedly worried about recall efforts against him and as of Thursday, December 10, the “Recall Gavin Newsom” campaign announced that it has more than half the required number of signatures.

Politico, in a December 8 article, reported that Governor Newsom is concerned about recall efforts. The governor, who was elected in 2018, has been criticized by some for his response to the coronavirus pandemic and for recently attending a birthday dinner at The French Laundry in early November amidst Coronavirus restrictions.

The Recall Gavin Newsom campaign is currently gathering enough signatures to trigger a recall election.  Its website identifies 32 reasons why the governor should be recalled, with reasons like “teachers no longer can discipline disruptive students” and California having the “highest poverty rate in the nation.”

Randy Economy, Senior Advisor to the Recall Gavin Newsom campaign, told San Francisco News that the campaign is “very optimistic” with the support they have received.

For a recall election to take place, a total of 1,495,709 valid signatures must be received by March 17, 2021.  The campaign says it is aiming for 2 million signatures due to a 25 percent disqualification rate.

The initial deadline was November 17, 2020.  The March 17 deadline is a 4-month extension that was granted by Superior Court Judge James P. Arguelles after the campaign argued that the coronavirus pandemic made it harder to gather signatures.

Economy warned that “we might go to a judge saying that we need another 30 or 60 days” if the governor “continues to tell everyone to be in lockdown.”

He criticized Newsom’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the governor has been “telling Californians what to do with their lives” and the “best person advocating for our recall is Gavin Newsom” himself.

If the campaign gathers enough valid signatures to prompt a special election, Economy predicts that the election would occur “as early as mid-July or the first week of August.”

Economy says there is no specific candidate that the “Recall Gavin Newsom” campaign wants on the ballot. He said the campaign is “doing what’s right to make sure every Californian goes to the polls” and do their civic duty to “participate in a recall.”

When asked if he is confident that the recall campaign will work, Economy responded: “Absolutely!  Oh my gosh, absolutely!”

He added that, if successful, the recall will be a “historic moment not only in California political history,” but in U.S. history as well.

The last time a recall effort was successful was 17 years ago in 2003, when enough signatures prompted a special election. Former Governor Gray Davis lost to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became governor and served from 2003-2011.