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California Governor Faces Oct. 7 Recall Election

BY Admin  July 24, 2003 at 3:15 PM EDT

At the same time, voters will be asked to choose a Davis successor in the event the governor is voted out of office.

Bustamante explained that two questions will appear on the ballot, one asking voters whether to retain Davis and another asking them to choose a Davis replacement. Bustamante, a Democrat, also announced his personal opposition to the recall effort.

“There will be two questions on the ballot,” Bustamante said. “I will also oppose the recall, in whatever form it may take in the future.”

On Wednesday, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley announced that Davis opponents had turned in enough certifiable petition signatures to trigger a recall vote under a law passed in 1911. Bustamante was then required by the law to set a recall election date within 60 to 80 days of the certification of the signatures.

“This is the first statewide special election in California’s history. The challenges are profound,” Shelley said at a news conference late Wednesday. “This could very well be one of the most important ballots our citizens ever cast.”

The special election marks the first successful effort to force a recall vote in California history.

Bustamante said Thursday he chose October 7, a date 77 days from the day of certification, to allow county election offices and candidates adequate time to prepare for the election.

The lieutenant governor said he consulted with the offices of the secretary of state and the attorney general’s office before issuing an official proclamation announcing the election.

Bustamante said earlier in the week that the second question, asking voters to choose a potential Davis replacement, might not appear on the same ballot with the recall question. He had said he would have to consult with the state supreme court and a governmental commission about his authority to set the ballot questions.

Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican who helped finance the recall campaign, has announced his intention to oppose Davis in the upcoming election. A number of other Republicans are expected to announce their candidacies in the coming days.

Davis said he was disappointed at the news, but ready to fight.

“Am I delighted that I have a recall? No. Is it a lot of fun? No,” Davis told a news conference in San Francisco. “Do I get much free time these days? No. But am I going to run away from it? Absolutely not.”

“I am going to fight like a Bengal tiger,” Davis said, according to Reuters.