Man behind governor recall discusses effort’s failure, future prospects


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Now that Governor Gavin Newsom has defeated the recall, the lead proponent of the effort is speaking out.

Orrin Heatlie is the Californian who kicked the whole process off, and, now that it’s over, he’s reflecting on what he thinks could have led to its failure.

“I’m feeling really good about where we’ve been and what we’ve been able to achieve,” Heatlie told FOX40.

Although it failed, Heatlie said he is proud of the effort he put together.

“If it was a Republican power grab or a Republican recall, where were the Republicans during this whole process? They sat it out,” Heatlie said. “They didn’t bring in the big resources to the table; they didn’t tap into their big donor list. They didn’t send large quantities like the Democrats did.”

Experts have said Larry Elder, who emerged last-minute, ended up — in some ways — helping Newsom, especially among Democratic voters. Heatlie agreed.

“People within my family and friends circle reported back all of their Democrat friends that they knew of that were in support of the recall flipped back around and were against the recall when Larry Elder came on-scene, and it was because of his extreme views on certain things,” Heatlie said.

Heatlie criticized Democratic state lawmakers, who immediately called for changes to the recall process, but he said he would consider changes to how those on the ballot get elected.

“I think that a runoff between the top two would probably be something that would be considerable,” Heatlie said.

What’s next for Heatlie? He said he’s channeling energy into the 2022 election for state officeholders and public initiatives. He plans to participate in any possible future recall changes.

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