California Gov. Gavin Newsom facing another recall threat, group says he’s ‘abandoned’ state

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Opponents of California Gov. Gavin Newsom are making another attempt to recall him from office, citing the state’s looming budget deficit, among other policy issues that have negatively impacted the Golden State because of his alleged mismanagement. 

Rescue California, a citizen-led group, said it planned to serve Newsom’s office on Monday with recall papers, the first step in what could be a lengthy and expensive process to put the recall question before voters. 

The group said that Newsom’s response to a range of pressing issues – including homelessness, the increased cost of living, his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, illegal immigration and crime — has been largely inadequate. On their website, the group said Newsom “has abandoned the state to advance his Presidential ambitions.”

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a fifth recall attempt.  (California Governor Gavin Newsom YouTube channel)

“California needs a full-time governor who is fully focused on the serious problems the state and its citizens are facing,” the campaign’s director Anne Dunsmore said in a statement. “This may be our last opportunity to rescue and restore our state, while we highlight for the rest of the country the destruction Newsom has left in his wake.”

Newsom, a strong supporter of President Biden, has been seen as a likely choice to launch a presidential bid in the future. Future speculation about his aspirations arose after he visited Israel and China last year. 

Specifically, Rescue California criticized Newsom for approving legislation that provided 700,000 immigrants free health care at an annual cost of $3 billion to taxpayers, “while cutting vital programs for veterans, school children, the disabled and the homeless.”

He also kept schools closed and ordered the release of criminals during the COVID-19 lockdowns and weakened public safety so much that it’s created an “epidemic” of smash-and-grab robberies that have plagued the state, the group said. In addition, Rescue California cited California’s high tax rate, increased home prices that have put home ownership out of reach for many and the spending of billions of dollars on homeless programs that have “repeatedly failed.”

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Newsom shakes hands with Xi in Beijing

In this photo taken Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 and released by Office of the Governor of California, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  (Office of the Governor of California via AP)

The Democratic governor has faced attempts to oust him from office before. This will be the fifth effort against him.  

Newsom responded to news of the recall on X, formerly Twitter. 

“Trump Republicans are launching another wasteful recall campaign to distract us from the existential fight for democracy and reproductive freedom,” he wrote. “We will defeat them.”

Fox News has reached out to the governor’s office, which cited his social media post. 

Newsom easily beat back the last recall effort in 2021 when he beat conservative radio host Larry Elder by a wide margin. Despite the governor’s success, Rescue California appears undeterred. 

Newsom and Elder

California Gov. Gavin Newsom beat Larry Elder in a 2021 recall election.  (AP)

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“We did it before. We will do it again,” the group wrote on Facebook. 

The group will need about 1.38 million verified signatures by May for their recall effort to qualify for the November ballot.

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