SACRAMENTO (KPIX 5) – The signature deadline in the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom has arrived and the back and forth is heating up.

Newsom said the recall will throw away $100 million in taxpayer dollars. Meanwhile, his opponents claim the signature gathering effort proves it’s not just a partisan push.

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“I’ve had enough.  I want to run for governor,” said San Francisco resident Paul Kangas.

Recall supporters point to closed storefronts, empty schools, vaccine distribution hiccups, and a governor who has flouted his own rules.

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“I think the people of California deserve to have somebody they can trust,” said Rescue California Recall Gavin organizer Anne Dunsmore.

Newsom is painting the overall effort as partisan and sometimes extremist.

“Devout conspiracy theorists, that believe in Qanon, and others that literally supported the insurrection on January 6,” Newsom said at a briefing earlier this week.

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Dunsmore claims it’s not just Republicans who are backing the effort to recall the Democratic governor. “If he wants to profile the entire citizen movement that’s been going on over the last year to recall him as a racist effort and a partisan power grab, which is what he called it, I think he will fail with that,” she said.

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Verifying the 1.5 million needed signatures is only step one to oust the governor, but the biggest hurdle lies ahead in a special election.

“If Newsom continues to coalesce support within the Democratic Party for remaining in office, it’s going to be very difficult to defeat him,” said Hoover Institution Fellow Lanhee Chen.

Only 24% of registered voters are Republican in California, but a recent poll from Emerson College showed 38% will support a recall if a special election is held, while 42% back keeping Newsom in office.

“The number is higher than I expected and it’s certainly higher than would be reflected if this were a Republican-only effort,” said Chen.

A majority vote in a special election is needed to remove the Governor.

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“The Newsom team is trying to send the signal that Democrats are united behind him. But if that wall cracks, if his support cracks, Newsom is definitely in serious trouble,” said Chen.