The effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that it has close to two million signatures with a week left until a deadline for verification, and Randy Economy, a senior adviser for the campaign, said Tuesday that the push has been an "emotional roller coaster."
"We have seen the collateral damage that Newsom has done to people's lives," Economy said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "Everything that he has done during this pandemic, he's done wrong. And the collateral damage that he has caused with so many lives is reprehensible. We are going to clean this mess up and we are cleaning it up by having close to 2 million Californians now sign our petitions."
UC Davis political science lecturer Isaac Hale told Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA that a recall election could happen by the end of this summer, but he thinks it's more likely that the vote would come toward the end of this year.
However, he warned that it may not be so easy to remove the Democrat governor, who has faced recall efforts before.
"The reason this one is succeeding is because of the pandemic," Hale said. "California is a very Democratic state and a much more Democratic state than it was in 2003 when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger won that recall election. I think this means that Gavin Newsom is probably in a much safer place than Grey Davis was back in 2003."
According to recall organizers, 1.9 million signatures have been gathered, with 1.4 million valid signatures needed for a recall.
All signatures must be submitted by March 17, and then counties have until April 29 to give the California secretary of state the results. That office determines if there are enough valid signatures to meet state rules, and if there is a sufficient number, then an election would be held.
Newsom's office, in a statement to KCRA, called the recall effort a "transparently partisan attempt to install a Trump supporter as governor of a state that elected Newsom and rejected Trump in historic landslides. These Republicans want to waste energy, attention, and $100 million of taxpayer funds — all of which should stay focused on vaccinating, recovering, and reopening."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., spoke out against the effort on Twitter, saying that "right-wing Republicans in California" want to oust Newsom "for the crime of telling people to wear masks and for listening to scientists during COVID."
Economy slammed Sanders' statement, telling Fox News that he doesn't think the senator "knows what his own fans and voters are doing here in California. A lot of our people who have signed our petitions are 'Berniecrats' because they are sick and tired of the mess that's created by Gavin Newsom and the Democratic Party."
Sanders, he added, is "being 'un-Bernie' right now and he needs to get a reality check on what his troops are doing in the Golden State because when he makes nonsensical comments like that, it's a poor reflection upon the reality of what we are doing here in California. Look, this is not a Republican movement. You know, 31% of the people who have signed our petition thus far are Democrats. That's a lot of people. It's not a Republican thing. It's a California thing."
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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