Gascon recall petition hits 175K signatures, cites survey indicating support for recall

Signal File Photo: Mothers Emma Rivas, left, and Imelda Hernandez tell their stories of losing their sons to violent offenders on stage during the Recall Gascon Rally held at Central Park in Saugus on Thursday, 072921. Dan Watson/The Signal

While proponents for recalling Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón say they are continuously increasing the number of signatures they have gathered for the petition, anti-recall officials contend the signature drive is still “trailing far behind.”  

Recall supporters also said Wednesday that a July survey shows strong public support for the effort to oust the district attorney from office. 

As of Wednesday, the Gascón recall petition has reached approximately 175,000 signatures, according to Tim Lineberger, a spokesman for the recall campaign. Lineberger added that he believes the campaign has momentum, but the quickly approaching deadline of 579,062 signatures by Oct. 27 means they will need to continue having people out on the streets collecting signatures.   

In a statement released Wednesday, Recall George Gascón officials said their commissioned survey of Los Angeles County voters showed that 61.4% of county voters preferred an alternative to Gascón, while 21.5% would support retaining him.  

Additionally, the survey — which was taken in July and included 53% Democrats, 17% Republicans, and the remaining balance were no party or other party — said of 650 respondents, 40.8% disapprove of Gascón’s job performance and 25.1% approve. 

Opponents of the recall effort said Wednesday that the current pace of the signature-gathering means good news for the supporters of the current district attorney.  

“The recall is actually trailing far behind where they’d need to be at this point to be taken seriously, with 400,000 signatures left to go to reach the very bare minimum,” said Jamarah Hayner, campaign manager for the anti-recall campaign. “Public relations stunts like today’s announcement — which desperately hope people won’t do basic arithmetic — are just that: stunts, not a serious political or field strategy.” 

According to those leading the recall effort, financial support and political backing will be required in order for them to see the recall reach the ballot.  

“This effort will require continued support and resources, both on the volunteer and paid signature side to be successful,” said Lineberger, adding that the number given on Wednesday for total signatures may be slightly off given that there still could be outstanding signatures from the previous weekend.   

“The main hurdle is not the recall vote itself but collecting roughly 600,000 signatures from L.A. County voters during a pandemic, especially while operating under COVID-19 lockdowns (as was the case at the beginning of this effort),” Lineberger added. 

If ultimately successful, a recall election would likely take place in 2022, according to the Recall Gascón petitioners. 

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