Sac Bee: How California Democrats could delay a Gavin Newsom recall

Posted 13 days ago


Democrats can’t control whether an effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom qualifies for the ballot, but they could influence when Californians vote.

If recall supporters collect enough signatures to trigger a special election, they will set in motion a process that could result in a vote later this year. The Democratic governor could be removed from office if a majority of voters cast their ballots for the recall.

Democrats, who dominate statewide elected offices and the Legislature in California, will carry out the process at every level. They will have some discretion over how quickly they act, although they will be subject to deadlines set in state law.

They can’t stop a recall, but they could delay one.


The only time a governor has been recalled was in 2003, when voters chose Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace Democrat Gray Davis. Republicans who oppose Newsom want to repeat history this year, and have poured money into an effort to get rid of him.

The timing of such an election could help determine Newsom’s fate. The California Target Book, which analyzes and tracks political races, conducted an analysis that found the recall could be held in November. But experts caution it’s too soon to say exactly when it would happen.

A later election might give opponents more time to raise money and build a case against him.

Pushing a recall to the latest possible date might help him, however, if the pandemic is easing and COVID-19 restrictions are lifting.

And state Democrats have moved to delay a recall election before....(Read more)