SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — Governor Gavin Newsom made his first public appearance since the recall election was certified and given an official date.
With recall ballots hitting mailboxes next month, the governor acknowledges there is a lot of work with not a lot of time to do it.
“I look forward to doing everything in our power we can to defeat this effort,” Newsom said.
As the recall becomes a primary focus, Newsom maintains he will not be distracted from his administration’s other priorities, including cleaning up the state’s littered streets and addressing homelessness.
Speaking Wednesday just off of a freeway at a Clean California event in the Bay Area, the governor would not say how or if the Sept. 14 special election date benefits him.
“I’m not taking my eye off the ball. If you ask me what the priorities are, it’s to get rid of this pandemic once and for all, put it in the rearview mirror, get our kids safely back to in-person instruction — Get our small businesses back on their feet,” Newsom said.
Putting away the pandemic once and for all may not happen soon. Three weeks after lifting the majority of his administration’s statewide restrictions on businesses, the infectious delta variant is now California’s most dominant COVID-19 strain.
The pandemic and his administration’s policies played a major role in the recall effort against him. So, Newsom is weighing in on the likelihood of reinstating restrictions.
“If we continue to get people vaccinated, that will be unnecessary,” Newsom said.
Newsom has been in fundraising mode since March. Campaign finance data shows the governor’s anti-recall campaign has netted $22.7 million so far.