Organizers: More than halfway through petition signatures needed to place recall of Gov. Newsom on ballot

An effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom is gaining steam, according to organizers who say they have secured more than half the signatures needed to take the issue to voters for a special election.

“Right now we are at 828,000 signatures that we have collected thus far. We need about [1.45 to 1.47 million]," said Randy Economy, Senior Advisor for the recall campaign.

He says supporters are tired of what they call hypocrisy from lawmakers like Gov. Newsom when it comes to shutting down California businesses and restaurants. The governor drew heavy criticism when FOX 11 obtained photos of Gov. Newsom dining maskless at the upscale restaurant, The French Laundry.

RELATED: FOX 11 obtains exclusive photos of Gov. Newsom at French restaurant allegedly not following COVID-19 protocols

“That was the last straw and people saw for themselves exactly what he was doing and how he was conducting himself and they said we’ve had it,” Economy said.

Gov. Newsom was visiting a Los Angeles hospital Monday for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. FOX 11 asked him about the recall effort but the embattled governor didn’t answer the question directly but had this to say instead:

“The most important thing we can do from an economic perspective is focus on public health.... focus on mitigating the spread of this virus,” Gov. Newsom said.

But the recall is getting strong support from people like Huntington Beach Restauranteur Andrew Gruel.

“I am voting for the recall because I want a governor who is going to tell the truth.” Gruel said.

Gruel owns the popular Slapfish seafood cafe and previously told FOX 11 he is defying the governor’s orders by staying open for outdoor dining.

“We’re being asked with no notice to basically shut down 70% of our business and we’re going to have to lay off tons of employees.” Said Gruel.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Chef Andrew Gruel fights back against California's outdoor dining restrictions

Some Californians FOX 11 spoke with voiced their support for Gov. Newsom.

“I think he’s trying to protect us from the [coronavirus],” said Arista Pemberton.

“We have to do what’s being asked of us if this is ever going to be over with,” said Jada Dunomes.

Organizers say they have until March 17, 2021, to turn in signatures. They expect to gather about 2 million signatures, well above the amount required and they say, if all goes well they are hopeful a special election will be held this summer. 

Here is the link to the said petition:

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.