California Gov. Gavin Newsom
California governor launches campaign to stop recall effort against him

Nearly 1.5 million verified signatures are required to put the question of recalling Newsom on the ballot, and Wednesday marks the deadline for turning in the necessary signatures. As of Monday, all indications pointed to Newsom's opponents reaching that goal.

The governor defended his pandemic-related decisions on behalf of California's 40 million residents during his state of the state speech last week, insisting that science has been behind his critical choices made during the year-long pandemic.

"We agonized about the sacrifices it would require," he said of implementing the nation's first stay-at-home order last year. "We made sure that science -- not politics -- drove our decisions."

The newly launched counter attack boasts big names supporting Newsom, including Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Alex Padilla of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, as well as Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont. California Reps. Katie Porter and Ro Khanna, both Democrats, also support the effort, as does voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams of Georgia.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said President Joe Biden is against efforts to unseat Newsom.

The California Democratic Party has contributed $250,000 toward Newsom's pushback effort, while the Republican National Committee contributed the same amount toward making the recall happen.

If the recall effort qualifies, it is unclear what month it would land on California's ballot, because there are a series of bureaucratic steps that must take place at various levels of state government before the state's lieutenant governor could formally call the recall election.
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