SONOMA, Calif. - The recall election challenging California Governor Gavin Newsom has been scheduled for Sept. 14 after the Secretary of State certified that the petition had enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
And that timing works in favor of Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to Sonoma State political science professor David McCuan, because it comes just one week after Labor Day, when families are back from vacations and celebrations bring Democratic politicians and labor supporters together for holiday events that can help get out the base.
"You get a rallying event with all the Democratic establishment, one week in the countdown before the actual recall," said McCuan.
Voter turnout is key, and Republicans are motivated, according to Tom Del Beccaro, Chair ff Rescue California which helped get the recall on the ballot.
"The polling shows Republicans have an 80% interest rate, meaning caring about this race and the winner of this race I think is someone who comes forward with solutions," said Del Beccaro.
Del Beccaro says they also plan to target independents and Democrats who are not enamored of the Governor's handling of the pandemic, homeless issues, school reopenings, wildfires and the drought.
Under the recall election, if the majority of voters say yes, they want Governor Newsom recalled then whichever replacement candidate gets the most votes will take the governor's seat, with no need for a majority or head-to-head contest.
Anyone wanting to get on the ballot has only about two weeks to collect the 7,000 signatures or write the $4,194.94 check needed to qualify.
Experts expect to see a wave of new people entering the race and a rush to campaign through the normally slow summer. In the 2003 recall of Gray Davis some 135 candidates ran including Arnold Schwarzenegger who won.
"My view here is that if you want to run you got something to say, come say run for office. I expect there'll be 100 candidates by the time we're done," said Doug Ose, a former Congressman who has already declared he is a candidate for governor.
Fellow Republicans also entering the race are Olympian and celebrity Caitlyn Jenner, businessman John Cox, and former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer.
"You had Democrats, Independents and Republicans, over 2 million Californians sign this recall petition...they want change at the top and they want a leader who's going to roll up their sleeves," said Faulconer.
But McCuan says California's requirement that people show five years of tax returns could reduce the number of candidates compared to 2003.
"Everyone looking at your tax returns, that also could change either those business people or those celebrities who potentially can enter the race and don't want to open things up," said McCuan.
Governor Newsom's campaign says this is a power grab by Trump supporters to take control and Democrats are mobilizing to get out the vote.
The Democratic process comes with a price tag. The state Finance Department says state and county costs to run the election will be about $276 million.