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Recall effort to oust California Gov. Gavin Newsom officially has enough signatures

Organizers collected 1.6 million valid signatures backing the campaign, state officials said.
Image: Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom looks on during a news conference with Xavier Becerra, then the state attorney general, at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Aug. 16, 2019.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images file

The effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom became official Monday, with state officials saying the campaign had collected 1.6 million valid signatures.

Organizers needed 1.5 million people to back the recall election, which likely won't occur until the fall.

The announcement from the secretary of state's office comes days after Caitlyn Jenner — the former Olympian, longtime Republican and transgender activist — announced that she was joining the race as a "compassionate disruptor."

Other challengers include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and John Cox, a businessman who ran against Newsom in 2018 and lost by double digits.

A recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan think tank, found that Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco and former lieutenant governor, was well positioned to defeat the effort: 56 percent of likely voters did not support the campaign, while 40 percent wanted him out.

The secretary of state's office said people who signed the recall petition have 30 days to remove their names from it. The state Finance Department then develops a cost estimate before Newsom's lieutenant governor sets a date for the election.

There have been dozens of efforts to recall governors in the state over the last century. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger ousted Gov. Gray Davis in a recall in 2003 amid a power crisis. Other figures to challenge Davis included the publisher of Hustler magazine, Larry Flynt, former child actor Gary Coleman and an adult film star.