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Recall campaign against S.D. Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell has 5,000 signatures, on pace for total needed

San Diego City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell
San Diego City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell attends a committee meeting in July.
(File)

The recall campaign against San Diego City Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell has gathered more than 5,000 signatures, putting the effort on pace to meet the 14,421 signatures required by early June to qualify for an election.

Leaders of the campaign said April 6 that the 5,000 signatures they’ve collected have been “vetted” to remove duplicates, illegible signatures and those otherwise unusable.

When signatures are submitted to the San Diego County registrar of voters for verification, a significant percentage is typically declared invalid for various reasons. So recall leaders are aiming for substantially more than the required number.

The count doesn’t include several hundred petitions downloaded from the website recalljen.com that recall leaders plan to gather and count this week. They estimate that may add a few thousand to the total.

If enough valid signatures are submitted, a recall election likely would take place in late November or early December. That election would include two decisions for voters in Campbell’s District 2, which includes Point Loma and Ocean Beach: Should Campbell be recalled, and who should replace her if she is recalled?

The Campbell recall could be combined with a statewide recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom, shrinking the city’s costs for the election.

Registrar of voters office says estimates of $1.6 million to $2 million are ‘rough’ and include several assumptions.

The signature effort, which includes volunteers and some paid gatherers, began in late February, three weeks after the campaign filed a notice of intent Feb. 3 and shortly after Campbell filed an official response Feb. 17.

The 14,421 number is based on 15 percent of the 96,140 voters registered in District 2 on the date of the most recent general election, Nov. 3.

Leaders of the recall campaign say Campbell, a Democrat who was narrowly elected council president in December, has been losing the trust of constituents by damaging quality of life, breaking promises and holding closed-door meetings with special interests.

Campbell, 75, has called the recall campaign reckless, divisive, expensive and a distraction from city efforts to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.

“This is the same Republican recall playbook being used against Gov. Newsom, and while they may have found support on the far fringes, ordinary San Diegans know keeping Dr. Jen Campbell at City Hall is critical,” said Dan Rottenstreich, a consultant leading the effort against the recall.


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