Party chairs in Santa Barbara County are gearing up for a frenzied 10 weeks leading up to the Sept. 14 recall election targeted at Gov. Gavin Newsom.
In just a few months, California voters will determine whether Gov. Gavin Newsom is voted out. All registered voters will receive a mail-in ballot leading up to the election where they can vote “yes” or “no” to the recall effort and decide on what candidate, if any, should replace the sitting governor.
If more than 50% of California voters vote “yes” to the recall, Gov. Newsom will be removed from office.
With the Sept. 14 date now set, potential candidates have until July 16 to file for the election. That leaves about two months to campaign leading up to election day.
A few weeks ago, businessman John Cox, former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer came forward to announce unofficial campaigns in their bid for the governorship.
Bobbi McGinnis, the chairwoman of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party, told the News-Press Friday that in the next 10 weeks, her party will be knocking on doors and calling voters to encourage them to vote “yes” on the recall.
She said she’s very confident the recall effort can prevail.
“We’re hoping that California is fed up and ready to have a leader that we can trust,” Ms. McGinnis said.
Proponents of the recall election have pointed to the governor’s COVID-19 policies and his infamous party at the French Laundry restaurant back in December as some of the foremost reasons for spearheading the recall effort.
In addition to these reasons, Ms. McGinnis said she supports the recall because she is looking for a leader who will champion “sensible government” and take a pro-business stance.
“We need a governor who is going to be a leader,” Ms. McGinnis said.
“(The election) is so exciting because it means California gets to pick a new direction for the whole state,” she later added.
Throughout the recall campaign, Gov. Newsom and his supporters have dismissed the recall effort as a Republican power grab with little support from the general population. According to the latest poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, 57% of Californians said they would vote “no” to the recall as of May.
Looking ahead to the next 10 weeks, Darcel Elliott, the county’s Democratic Party chairwoman, said she remains confident that the governor will prevail against the recall effort.
The county Democratic Party began its field campaign last weekend by talking to voters about the upcoming election and encouraging them to vote “no” to the recall. Ms. Elliott said a key part of overcoming the recall is making sure voters know when to expect their ballots and where they can be submitted.
“I feel pretty good,” Ms. Elliott told the News-Press. “The polling is showing pretty clear support for Newsom. We just have to make sure people know when the election is. That’s the biggest challenge.”
According to the secretary of state’s office, the state will release a full list of candidates by July 20, about 55 days before the recall vote. All registered California voters will receive their ballot about 29 days before the election, which is around Aug. 17.
In addition to the mail-in ballots, the county will have approximately 25 in-person voting locations that will be open from Sept. 11 through Sept. 14.
Following the election, county officials will have 30 days to complete the official canvas, and should the recall prevail, a new governor will be sworn in to office about a week later.
According to Joseph Holland, the county’s clerk recorder, assessor and registrar of voters, the election will cost the county more than $2.8 million. He said the county is hoping to have these funds reimbursed by the state, but there is no guarantee of this.
In total, the recall election will cost about $276 million statewide.