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Wed 1

September 1, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PDT

To Recall or Not? Assessing the Campaign to Recall Gavin Newsom

USC Center for the Political Future

Location: Online

Gavin Newsom was elected California’s 40th governor in 2019 with a chance to run for a second term in 2022 election. Hoping to stop Newsom’s first term in its tracks, a Republican-led effort collected enough signatures to force a special election to recall the sitting governor.

The campaign began before the pandemic with conservatives critical of Newsom’s policies on gun control, immigration, the death penalty, homelessness, and tax rates. As the pandemic hit California, conservatives grew frustrated by the governor’s stay-at-home orders and his now infamous French Laundry dinner scandal. Even so, Newsom’s approval ratings remain higher than former Gov. Gray Davis, the only California governor ever to be recalled. 

Who is behind the recall effort? What are the reasons for demanding a recall? What are the implications of this effort? How does the signature process work? Is the process good for California? What is different about this recall effort from others in California history? 

Get the answers to these and related questions from our panel of experts including Jennifer Cryer, assistant professor of political science and international relations at USC Dornsife; Carla Marinucci, senior writer for POLITICO California Playbook; Seema Mehta, political writer with the Los Angeles Times; and Roger Salazar, political strategist, former campaign press secretary for Gov. Davis, and president of Alza Strategies. Robert Shrum, director of the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future, Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics, USC Dornsife, and Mike Murphy, co-director of the Center for the Political Future and NBC political analyst, moderate the discussion.