Organizers of an effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom for his COVID-19 measures announced Monday that they have gathered half of the necessary 1.5 million signatures in order to trigger the special election. Those pushing the effort have until March to collect the rest.
Newsom's recent stay-at-home orders, which have reimposed an economic lockdown by closing businesses and shuttering schools, have faced stiff opposition. The governor also received major pushback after he was photographed attending a swanky birthday celebration at the French Laundry restaurant at the same time he was issuing orders preventing others from doing the same.
In 2003, California Gov. Gray Davis faced a recall election over his financial mismanagement of the state. After enough signatures were gathered to trigger the recall, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated the sitting Democrat in the special gubernatorial election.
Newsom has remained silent about the effort, but the state's Democratic Party issued a statement blasting California Republicans for being "disconnected…from the plight and pain of working families."