California Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted Tuesday that he’s “worried” about being recalled from office as organizers prepare to submit petitions to place his political fate on the special-election ballot.
“Am I worried about it? Of course, I’m worried about it,” Mr. Newsom said on ABC’s “The View.” “The nature of these things, the up-or-down question, the zero-sum nature of the question is challenging, it’s vexing.”
Petitions are due Wednesday to the California secretary of state, but leaders of Recall Gavin Newsom say they have already collected more than 2 million signatures, well above the nearly 1.5 million needed to qualify the measure for the ballot, and that 1.8 million have been verified as valid.
Mr. Newsom said that six would-be recalls have been floated since he was elected in November 2018, but that “this one appears to have the requisite signatures.”
“We’re taking it seriously,” Mr. Newsom said. “I have to do my job every single day, but I’m going to fight this thing because I’m going to fight for California values and the things I hold dear and I think the vast majority of Californians regardless of their political stripes hold dear.”
The Democratic governor launched Monday the anti-recall campaign Stop the Republican Recall, calling it a “naked partisan power grab” and linking it to extremist groups, which the recall group blasted as a “smear campaign.”
“Newsom is calling on the political establishment to shut us down,” the recall group tweeted. “His smear campaign, to label and stereotype us won’t work! We know better. The people will choose the future of California.”
Only two governors in U.S. history have been recalled, but one of those was in California: Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was ousted in 2003 and replaced with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A California Emerson College/Nexstar Media poll released Monday found Mr. Newsom receiving a 42% to 40% approval-disapproval rating, with 42% sayings they would vote to keep him in office and 38% supporting the recall.