As Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom faces the possibility of a recall election, former Republican San Diego Mayor and California gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer railed against him in a statement to the Daily Caller.
Newsom gave his third annual State of the State speech from a near-empty Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, where he admitted his administration “made mistakes” but still touted California’s progress in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic. He also alluded to the recall campaign against him by condemning “critics, who are promoting partisan power grabs and outdated prejudices, and rejecting everything that makes California great.”
“Gavin Newsom’s State of the State was nothing more than empty words in an empty stadium,” Faulconer told the Daily Caller in a statement on Friday. “This recall movement is powered by millions of Californians who are stepping up and demanding change. We are committed to ending the failures of this administration and beginning a California Comeback, that’s why I’m running.”
Faulconer is one of the candidates slated to run against Newsom in either 2022 or a special election. (RELATED: Kevin Faulconer, Former Mayor Of San Diego, To Challenge Newsom For CA Governor)
Recall organizers announced they had collected over 2 million signatures on Wednesday, more than enough to trigger a special election. The number of signatures needed to trigger an election is 1.5 million, but organizers set their goal at 2 million to ensure they had enough verifiable submissions.
The former mayor of San Diego also released a new campaign advertisement on Friday, claiming Newsom “completely failed” California families.
Faulconer was elected in 2014 to the San Diego mayor’s office after winning a special election triggered by the resignation of former Democratic Mayor Bob Filner over sexual harassment allegations, according to Fox News. In 2016, he was reelected in a landslide, winning over 58% of the vote in California’s second-largest city.
Newsom has faced widespread criticism since he was caught breaking his own COVID-19 guidelines last year by dining inside the luxurious French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley for the birthday of well-known lobbyist Jason Kinney. California’s regulations on businesses and the closing down of schools during the pandemic have also contributed to the recall’s popularity.