Gavin Newsom - photo by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons.jpg

California voters will head to the polls on September 14 to decide whether to keep or replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election.

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis announced the date on Thursday calling for a special statewide election to determine if Newsom should be recalled and if so to elect a successor.

Newsom was elected in 2018 and is serving a four-year term.

According to the California Secretary of State the recall effort was begun by Orrin E. Heatlie with the recall petition approved for circulation in June of 2020.

Proponents were given until March 17 to file their petitions with county election officials, an extension from the normal 160-day period because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 29 Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber announced the recall petition had reached the threshold of 1,495,709 verified signatures reported by counties to set the recall election.

The recall will have two parts. Voters will have the option to either vote yes or no on recalling Newsom and the second part selecting a successor if more than 50% of voters casting ballots vote to recall the governor. Voters can vote on either one or both parts of the ballot.

Every registered voter will receive a vote-by-mail ballot with counties beginning to mail the ballots approximately 29 days before the election.

Candidates for the recall election have to file by July 21, 55 days before the recall election. Media reports have listed businessman John Cox, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Rep. Doug Ose and television reality star Caitlyn Jenner as among the 57 people who have already filed be in the recall election to replace Newsom.

The California Department of Finance estimated the county and state costs to administer the recall election will be $276 million.

In California history there have been 54 recall attempts with only one successful attempt in 2003 when Gov. Gray Davis was recalled and replaced by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve the remainder of Davis’ term. Schwarzenegger was reelected to a second full term in 2006.

• Contact the Tracy Press at or 835-3030.

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