Politics

Gavin Newsom Aides Privately Worry About Forced Special Election Possibility, Report Says

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Aides close to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom are worried about a growing movement to trigger a special gubernatorial election in the Golden State, according to a Politico report.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s team is “increasingly concerned” about the formal effort to recall the governor, Politico reported. The Recall Gavin 2020 campaign started in June and has obtained more than half of the signatures required with about three months remaining, the group announced Thursday.

“The Governor should be worried, but less about his political future and more about the people he was elected to serve,” Mike Netter, founding member of the California Patriot Coalition, the group behind the effort, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: ‘Newsom Is Our Best Representative’: Petition To Recall Gavin Newsom, Trigger Special Election Sees Spike In Interest)

More than 800,000 Californians have physically signed the petition, the campaign announced in a Thursday press release. Organizers have until March 17, 2021 to collect 1,495,709 signatures, or 12% of the votes cast for Newsom in 2018, from California voters, according to the Office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Newsom beat Republican challenger John Cox by about 22 percentage points in the 2018 California gubernatorial election, according to The New York Times. Cox has partly funded the recall campaign.

“Today our efforts to Recall California Governor Gavin Newsom have entered a dramatic new phase, and we cannot be prouder of everyone who is working tirelessly to remove America’s worst governor from office,” the effort’s lead proponent Orrin Heatlie, said in a statement.

“The campaign is full speed ahead,” said senior adviser Randy Economy.

The campaign has gained considerable momentum over the course of the last few months, Netter previously told the DCNF. He credited Newsom with being the best representative for the campaign in light of recent scandals.

In November, the governor was widely criticized after he was photographed attending an indoor gathering without a mask at an upscale restaurant in Napa Valley, California, apparently in violation of his administration’s own guidelines. On Wednesday, Small Business Administration data showed that PlumpJack Group, a company owned by Newsom, received nearly $3 million worth of Paycheck Protection Program loans intended for small businesses, ABC affiliate KABC-TV reported.

The recall campaign was influenced by a variety of policies that Newsom implemented in his first term in office, including granting clemency to convicted felons and maintaining California as a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants. The campaign has also cited rising homelessness as an influence for their efforts.

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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