California Governor Gavin Newsom will face a recall election on September 14, 2021.
That date was announced on Thursday by the state’s Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis. Kounalakis said in a statement that Sept. 14 was a “fair and reasonable date,” but also noted that “the window of time from which I could select a date was narrow.”
“It has always been my intention to choose an election date that gives election officials and the public ample time to ensure a smooth election with broad participation,” she said. “Conducting this election on September 14 fulfills my statutory requirements, and provides the time needed for officials to prepare and inform voters.”
You can see Kounalakis’s order here.
State law had mandated that a Legislative committee take 30 days to consider the recall cost, a strategy that Democrats enacted four years ago to delay the recall of State Sen. Josh Newman.
But this week, Democrats eliminated that provision with a bill allowing Legislative leaders to bypass the review if they have already allocated funds for counties, which they did in the recent budget. Some say a quicker election will benefit the embattled governor, who has used an unexpected $76 billion 2021 budget surplus to generate positive headlines in the state.
Newsom and his allies have also pushed back on the election’s cost. The tally was estimated in early June at $215 million. But the Department of Finance recently said the statewide vote will cost roughly $276 million.
In September, voters will see two questions on their ballot. The first will ask whether Newsom should be removed. Voters will mark “yes” or “no.”
The second question will ask voters to choose a replacement for Newsom. That field includes former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former gubernatorial candidate John Cox, former GOP Rep. Doug Ose, and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner.
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