Candidates seeking to run against Newsom in a likely recall election later this year could have as little as 24 hours to enter the race — just another quirk of California’s unique recall rules, which could also cause Newsom to lose his job even if he garners more support than the top candidate to replace him. Under California law, replacement candidates would likely have to file their paperwork no later than 59 days before the election — which must itself be scheduled 60 to 80 days after the secretary of state certifies the recall measure, the Los Angeles Times reports. Should Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis decide to schedule the election 60 days after certification, that would give candidates just one day to file — potentially limiting the number of challengers Newsom will face.
Another wild card: whether high-dollar initiatives expected to go before voters in November 2022 end up on the recall ballot instead. It appears likely a referendum to overturn a flavored tobacco ban Newsom signed into law last year will go on the recall ballot, while the timing of three other initiatives — including one to legalize sports betting in tribal casinos — is more uncertain. The implications are massive for interest groups supporting and opposing the initiatives: Not only do special elections typically see different voters turn out than regular elections, but the campaigns will also take place much earlier than expected.