The Newsom recall: What happens between now and election day

Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

The stage is set.

The recall election asking voters if they want to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom will take place on Sept. 14. Nearly four dozen candidates will appear on the ballot as potential replacements, according to the secretary of state's office.

Newsom and the candidates vying to replace him are scurrying to sweep up donor dollars, endorsements and every other advantage they can gain before voters cast their ballots. The incumbent has every advantage. But uncertainties — notably over the pandemic, wildfires and power blackouts for now — mean nothing is certain.

A new poll shows that while most Californians oppose recalling Newson, the voters most passionate about casting ballots in September are nearly evenly divided on whether to oust the Democratic governor.

Here's what voters need to know about the attempted recall of Newsom, the candidates who want to replace him and the process that will unfurl through election day in mid-September.

The field


After months of uncertainty over who was running and who was seeking publicity, the field of potential Newsom replacements is now set. The secretary of state's office announced that the certified list of candidates includes 46 people — 24 Republicans, 10 with no party preference, nine Democrats, two members of the Green Party and one Libertarian.

The most well-known Republicans are Olympic Gold medalist/reality television star Caitlyn Jenner and conservative talk show host Larry Elder. Other prominent Republicans running include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Rep. Doug Ose, unsuccessful 2018 GOP gubernatorial nominee John Cox, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and Board of Equalization Member Ted Gaines. The most well-known registered Democrat candidate is Kevin Paffrath, a personal finance influencer with more than 1.6 million followers on YouTube.

Newsom and his allies were successful in stopping a prominent Democratic elected official from entering the race. This is a risky strategy for Democrats, because if the recall is successful, the next governor will almost certainly be a Republican.

The deadline to appear on the ballot has passed, but those who want to try their luck as write-in candidates have until 14 days before election day to file the necessary paperwork.


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