The Recall of Gavin Newsom is On - Here's What Happens Next

In a little under two weeks, supporters of a campaign to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom will get their chance to make their voice heard. With ballots already mailed to voters across California, registered voters have until Sept. 14th to return their ballot.

This isn't the first time California residents have been down this road. In 2003, Gov. Gray Davis, faced a recall election after residents became upset about an electricity crisis as well as an unpopular car tax. The recall was ultimately successful and Davis became the first California governor (and only the second governor in history), to be removed from office.

Why do people want to recall Gov. Newsom?

Organizers of the recall effort have focused on Newsom's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, criticizing his lockdown measures as too restrictive, saying he has “failed at his job and destroyed the lives and business of too many hardworking Californians,''  according to RecallGavin2020. In November 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, Newsom was also widely criticized for attending a dinner for a lobbyist at a Michelin 3-star restaurant, The French Laundry in Napa Valley. The dinner violated a number of Newsom's own coronavirus restrictions, including an excessive number of attendees at the party and the fact the dinner appeared to be held indoors.

Newsom later apologized for attending the dinner, saying he had 'made a bad mistake.' The dinner was widely panned and as a result the recall petition surged in popularity.

When will the recall election be held?

Voters must return their ballot by mail or at a local voting center on or before Sept. 14th. All California residents who are U.S. Citizens and will be 18 on or before Election Day are eligible to vote.

Who's running this time?

  • Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder
  • Former Olympian, reality TV star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner
  • 2018 Republican nominee for governor John Cox
  • Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
  • Former congressman Doug Ose
  • State Representative Kevin Kiley 

What will the Ballot look like?

Voters will be asked two questions:

1) Do you wish to recall the sitting governor, Gavin Newsom?

2) Vote for the person you want elected Governor of California

Voters are allowed to select a candidate to replace Newsom as Governor, even if they vote 'No' on the recall. If the first question receives less than 50% of the vote, Newsom will finish out the rest of his term and will be eligible to run for reelection in 2022.

If more than 50% of voters choose 'Yes' on the recall question, the candidate with the highest number of votes will replace Newsom for the remainder of his term.

Photo: Getty Images

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