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Democrats, Progressives Fight California Governor Recall

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Prominent progressives including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are supporting a fight against the reinstatement of California Governor Gavin Newsom, in a sign that supporters are stepping up efforts to keep the contested Democrat in office.

Newsom and his supporters opened a campaign committee on Monday and began raising funds to oppose the recall, which was started by a small right -wing group but caused independence among Republicans across the country and in Democratic state.

“I can’t interfere with this partisan, Republican recollection – but I will fight it,” Newsom said on Twitter on Monday. “There’s too much bet.”

Newsom, a former lieutenant governor and mayor of San Francisco, was elected governor in 2018 with nearly 62% of the vote. He will prepare for re -election in 2022.

The California Democratic Party said Monday it has donated $ 250,000 to the effort. Supporters include Democrat Warren of Massachusetts and Sanders of Vermont, an independent spokesman for Democrats. Also included are Democratic Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Alex Padilla of California and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams of Georgia.

To combat the recollection, Newsom also hired political consultant Juan Rodriguez, who served as Vice President Kamala Harris ’campaign manager in his bidding for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, the campaign said opposed to recall.

Newsom is one of two Democratic governors under fire and in danger of being ousted from large, influential U.S. states. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces calls to resign and a possible impeachment amid allegations that he sexually harassed female employees. Cuomo denied the allegations.

The Newsom-targeted effort began in February 2020, led by a group called the California Patriot Coalition that opposed Newsom’s liberal politics.

The campaign has gained steam amid frustration over the state’s COVID-19 vaccine release, closed schools and changes in public health policies.

A vote released Monday by Emerson College and Nexstar Media Group Inc. found that 38% of California registered voters would vote to remember Newsom, compared to 42% who would vote to keep him in office.

Randy Economy, a spokesman for the California Patriot Coalition, said the group is expected to submit nearly 2 million signatures by a state deadline on Wednesday. The group needs nearly 1.5 million verified signatures for its recall to be eligible for the ballot at a time set by the state. But thousands are likely to be dismissed as invalid.

In California, recalling a governor is a two -step process. Voters decide if they want to commemorate the sitting governor and then on the same ballot choose a replacement.

‘TIME IS ALL’

The last time Californians remembered their governor was in 2003, when Democrat Gray Davis was replaced by Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican.

As of Monday, Rescue California, one of the political action committees that supports the recall, had received $ 2 million in donations, the state’s campaign finance records showed. The total included $ 185,250 from the California Republican Party and $ 100,000 from former Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Huckabee’s political action committee.

“Gavin Newsom has ignored the needs of the people of California for too long,” said former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, among Republicans who plan to run for governor if a vote is held.

Republicans make up less than a quarter of California’s registered voters.

Raphael Sonenshein, a political scientist at California State University, Los Angeles, said a recall election may be easier for Republicans to win than an ordinary election. But Newsom’s opponents will face tougher odds if life in California returns to normal by the time an election is held.

“Timing is everything,” Sonenshein said.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Cooney)

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