California Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced Thursday that she has certified the petition to hold a recall election for Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sept. 14 was chosen as the date.
Weber said that out of 2,161,349 signatures submitted, 1,719,900 were determined to be valid — enough for the recall election to move forward.
State law requires the election to be held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days following certification. Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis announced the date would be Sept. 14.
Newsom vowed to defeat the recall and stuck to a theme he’s been hammering for months — that the recall is a power grab led by “Trump Republicans” who refuse to accept the outcome when they lose elections.
“On September 14, Californians will have the chance to defend our state and reject this Republican power grab once and for all,” said a statement from Newsom’s campaign manager Juan Rodriguez.
There will be two questions on the recall ballot. The first is a yes/no vote on whether to recall Newsom. The second is the choice of a candidate to succeed him if a majority votes for the recall.
California Republicans see the election as an opportunity to win back the governor’s mansion in a state that is overwhelmingly Democrat. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner are among the Republicans vying for the position if Newsom is recalled.
“The people have spoken and this recall is happening,” said Faulconer. “I am ready to lead this recall and begin the ‘California Comeback’ to clean up our streets, cut taxes on the middle class, and reopen our schools.”
The state Finance Department estimates that the combined state and county cost to run the special election will total $276 million.
The last gubernatorial recall was in 2003, when Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger succeeded Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.
CalMatters contributed to this article.