LOS ANGELES (AP) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a possible recall election as the nation’s most populous state struggles to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.

Organizers say they have collected more than half of the nearly 1.5 million petition signatures needed to place the recall on the ballot.

Recall adviser Randy Economy says interest is higher since it was revealed Newsom dined with friends at an opulent restaurant while telling state residents to stay home and not socialize.

Recall organizers have until mid-March to gather signatures. California’s last recall was in 2003, when voters installed Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor after deposing the unpopular Democrat Gray Davis.

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