California sets date for recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom

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California voters will go to the polls in September to decide if Gov. Gavin Newsom remains in charge of the country’s most populous state.

A Sept. 14 recall election was scheduled Thursday, after more than 1.6 million signatures were gathered in a political uprising against the first-term Democrat, driven by anger over state coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis set the date for the contest to see if Newsom should remain governor, and if not — to elect a replacement, after election officials certified the validity of the petition signatures.

The announcement will set off a fervent ten week burst of campaigning during the summer; a time when many Californians typically ignore politics.

Current polls have shown that Newsom would survive the recall. Republicans have not won a statewide race since Arnold Schwarzenegger — who defeated Gray Davis in a 2003 recall — was elected governor in 2006.

Caitlyn Jenner is set to follow the celebrity GOP track to Sacramento of Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan before him — joining a crowded Republican field including former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, 2018 gubernatorial nominee John Cox, former Congressman Doug Ose and perennial porn star candidate Mary Cary.

Conservative talk show host Larry Elder is also considering throwing his hat in the ring, he announced Wednesday.

California’s Department of Finance said Thursday the recall election would cost $276 million.

With AP wires

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