Nearly 1.5 million verified signatures are required to put the question of recalling Newsom on the ballot, and Wednesday marks the deadline for turning in the necessary signatures. As of Monday, all indications pointed to Newsom’s opponents reaching that goal.
“We agonized about the sacrifices it would require,” he said of implementing the nation’s first stay-at-home order last year. “We made sure that science — not politics — drove our decisions.”
On Monday, Newsom tweeted that he “won’t be distracted by this partisan, Republican recall — but I will fight it. There is too much at stake.”
The newly launched counter attack boasts big names supporting Newsom, including Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Alex Padilla of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, as well as Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont. California Reps. Katie Porter and Ro Khanna, both Democrats, also support the effort, as does voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams of Georgia.
“The same Republicans who refused to hold Donald Trump accountable for the deadly insurrection of January 6th are now trying to hold Governor Newsom accountable for the failures of Donald Trump,” Padilla said in a statement.
He slammed the recall effort in a statement as “partisan, reckless, dangerous, and will only serve to distract from the critical work of seeing our state through the pandemic and into economic recovery.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said President Joe Biden is against efforts to unseat Newsom.
The California Democratic Party has contributed $250,000 toward Newsom’s pushback effort, while the Republican National Committee contributed the same amount toward making the recall happen.
If the recall effort qualifies, it is unclear what month it would land on California’s ballot, because there are a series of bureaucratic steps that must take place at various levels of state government before the state’s lieutenant governor could formally call the recall election.
In a recall election in California, the governor is removed by a simple majority of votes.
This story has been updated with additional background information and reaction.
CNN’s Devan Cole and Maeve Reston contributed to this report.