UPDATED 6:20 PM PT – Saturday, April 17, 2021
California Democrats loyal to Governor Newsom (D-Calif.) have considered throwing their support elsewhere as recall efforts gain traction. On Saturday, reports said some state lawmakers are having conversations about backing other prominent Democrats should the recall election make it to the ballot.
“One of the things that Gavin Newsom really has to watch for and worry about is if another prominent Democrat gets into the race to replace him,” political analyst Kevin Riggs stated.
Political insiders said voters could see an election in October or November with the possibility of many names on the ballot. According to the California Secretary of State, the petition to recall Newsom has more than 1.4 million verified signatures as of March 11, but reports said over 300,000 signatures still need to be verified and more have flooded in.
However, California State Democrat Sen. Josh Newman created a bill that would provide targets of future recalls the access to names and information of those who signed the petition. It would also extend the length of time to remove signatures to 45 days.
Orrin Heatlie, the lead proponent of Recall Newsom, called the bill an intimidation tactic.
“I think it’s really important that we maintain this process,” Heatlie stated. “Even though this won’t affect the Newsom recall, it will affect all future recalls and this is why it is so important to stop this bill from going forward.”
California gubernatorial candidate and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) tweeted his criticism for the bill and called it a “dangerous attempt to intimidate California voters.”
My statement on Gavin Newsom’s allies rolling back privacy rights for California voters: pic.twitter.com/VyNNuXRxxl
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) April 13, 2021
Analysts cited the possibility of voter outrage over a year of COVID-19 lockdowns and economic hardship as reasons California Democrats might want a backup plan.