By Kenny Choi

ALAMEDA (KPIX 5) – As the deadline looms for gathering signatures in the effort to oust Gavin Newsom from office, the governor has begun to push back at recall campaign.

Until recently, Newsom has stayed fairly silent on this topic, but now says he’s worried about the latest effort.

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“This sideshow, this circus. It’s unfortunate.  So yeah I’m a little intense about it,” Newsom said at a briefing about efforts to reopen schools in Alameda County on Tuesday.

This 6th recall push against Newsom is the only one that appears to have garnered enough verified signatures, about 1.5 million. The deadline for signatures is on Wednesday.

“We’re gonna fight it,” said Newsom.

Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized the recall effort against him during a briefing in Alameda County on March 16, 2021. (CBS)

Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized the recall effort against him during a briefing in Alameda County on March 16, 2021. (CBS)

A recent poll conducted by Emerson College found 45% of Californians approve of Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 44% disapprove.

“A lot of people are frustrated. They have small businesses, they haven’t been able to open and provide services that keep them afloat,” said San Francisco resident Erica Chong.

“The recall is a waste of time and money and it’s distracts them from governing,” said Alameda resident James Martin.

“I just think it’s important to know who they are.  The chief proponent of this recall effort believes that we should microchip immigrants,” said Newsom.

Recall organizers say the movement is non-partisan, but Newsom is quick to paint it very differently.

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“All you need is a quarter of Trump supporters, it’s the lowest threshold in America, to get someone on the ballot,” said Newsom.

Newsom’s comments echo a tweet he posted a day earlier. “I won’t be distracted by this partisan, Republican recall — but I will fight it.” the governor tweeted Monday.

“Californians will judge Gavin Newsom by how he handled the pandemic and not on who was backing this recall,” said UC San Diego political science professor Thad Kousser.

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“Most of the Governor’s efforts this past month have been about pushing for reopening while protecting health.  As long as that gets moving, he’ll be in a very strong political position when the recall comes to the ballot,” Kousser went on to say.