‘I absolutely think it’s going to happen’: Newsom recall effort picks up steam

California
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom is gaining signatures and money with more than a month left before its deadline.

Organizers say they’ve amassed more than 1.3 million signatures on petitions for recall. Secretary of State Shirley Weber said the group has until mid-March to collect about 1.5 million certified signatures for the issue to head to voters.

“I absolutely think it’s going to happen,” said Anne Dunsmore, campaign manager and finance director for Rescue California, a group helping with the signature-gathering effort.

Recently, Dunsmore said issues with California’s Employment Development Department and vaccine distribution have fueled the effort.

“All of these things are putting us at the top of lists we don’t want to be at the top of,” Dunsmore told FOX40.

Dunsmore said the group has raised about $2 million from a variety of donors, including a recent $100,000 contribution from Chamath Palihapitiya, a billionaire venture capitalist who was once a Facebook executive and is now CEO of Social Capital and chairman at Virgin galactic.

Palihapitiya recently announced his intent to run for California governor on Twitter.

“I think Chamath running now creates a situation where a lot of other Democrats might start to consider running, and I know a few who are. And they don’t have to worry about retribution because there’s going to be enough of them,” Dunsmore told FOX40.

Other candidates financially backing the effort and running for governor if Newsom is recalled include Republican John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018, and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Dunsmore said recent donors don’t seem to have a party preference..

“They don’t care. Republican or Democrat, it’s outcome,” she explained. “Are we going to get rid of this guy before he signs any more bills in October, and we hope so.”

Newsom has said in recent weeks he is not focused on the recall effort but instead on fighting COVID-19, as well as vaccine distribution.

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