LOS ANGELES (AP/CBS13) — The California Republican Party announced Saturday it is giving $125,000 to the campaign aimed at recalling Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and organizers of the campaign say they have collected more than the 1.5 million petition signatures required to qualify the proposal for the ballot.

The funds will go toward hiring workers to gather more signatures. So far, that work has fallen largely on volunteers, along with mailings sent to households around the state.

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The funds were donated to Rescue California, one of several political committees working to oust Newsom from office. Newsom’s political advisers call the proposal a misguided effort by supporters of former President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

The party wrote the check just days after the Republican National Committee gave the state GOP $250,000 intended to aid the recall drive.

Though organizers say they have collected over 1.5 million signatures so far, it’s not clear how many of them will be disqualified because of technical or other errors. Committees behind the recall hope to gather well beyond the required 1.5 million to ensure it qualifies.

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“We expect to collect another 400,000 signatures,” Rescue California campaign manager Anne Dunsmore said in a statement. With the six-figure donation, “we added a substantial line item to our budget.”

The contribution “will guarantee that we bring in enough additional signatures to hold Gavin Newsom accountable,” she added.

Polls show Newsom’s popularity has been sliding as residents recoil from long-running coronavirus rules that have shuttered schools and businesses.

Newsom also has weathered a public drubbing for dining out with friends and lobbyists at a San Francisco Bay Area restaurant last fall, while telling residents to stay home. And more recently, an ever-expanding fraud scandal at the state unemployment agency has his leadership during the pandemic under even closer scrutiny.

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