Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer launched a campaign for governor of California, Tuesday, amid a recall effort of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Faulconer served as mayor from 2006 to 2014 and officially launched his campaign to run in either the 2022 race for governor, or sooner if a recall election takes place.

“He’s failed us, year after year,” Faulconer said in his first campaign video. “I’m running to make a difference, not to make promises.”

While past petitions to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom have failed, there is a current petition that has gained 1.3 million of the 1.8 million of the necessary signatures, according to the “Recall Gavin” campaign.

The recall campaign’s senior adviser Randy Economy told L.A. Weekly back in December that he believed enough signatures would be garnered by the end of January and while that did not happen, the campaign has until March 17 to reach the necessary threshold.

While leaders in the state, including L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, praised Newsom for aggressive action early on in the pandemic, of late, small businesses and Republican voices such as Faulconer have been vocal about their displeasure with the governor’s orders to shut down.

Those voices grew louder after Newsom was photographed dining at the French Laundry restaurant in Yountville on Nov. 6, 2020. The dinner appeared to be indoors, although the restaurant said it was their outdoor area, and Newsom was seen packed in tightly with several others and no visible masks worn by the patrons.

Newsom later apologized for the dinner, saying he felt “uncomfortable” and should have left the moment he noticed there were so many people in attendance.

“To him there’s rules for everybody else and then there’s rules for him,” Economy said about the governor’s November dinner. “It’s the arrogance of power and he doesn’t care for the average person in California. He cares about living in his own political bubble.”

On Tuesday, a survey conducted by the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies said that among the 10,000 registered voters who were polled, 48% approved of Gov. Newsom’s performance, while 46% disapproved.

About 69% of those polled were displeased with Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is up from 51% in a September poll.

A countering poll was released by the Public Policy Institute of California, Tuesday, and the results were more favorable toward Newsom, showing that 54% of adult Californians were satisfied with satisfied with his performance as governor.

“A majority approve of the job that Gavin Newsom is doing as governor, while opinions about him remain deeply divided between Democratic and Republican voters,” Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO said in a media release. “More than four in ten say that COVID is the most important issue for the governor and legislature in 2021, and a majority of Californians approve of the governor’s handling of COVID. About one in three give the state excellent or good grades for the vaccine distribution.”


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