Key dates in the California recall election

Feb. 5: Republican former Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian and the taxpayer group People's Advocate announce separate campaigns to try to recall Gov. Gray Davis.

March 25: Recall supports are approved by the secretary of state to begin collecting the 897,158 signatures needed to put the recall on the ballot.

May 15: Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, files documents declaring his intent to form a committee to run for governor. A week later, he donates $445,000 to a campaign to recall Davis.

May 28: Davis' allies launch anti-recall effort, vowing to raise $4 million to keep the recall off the ballot.

June 2: Peter Camejo, the Green Party gubernatorial candidate in November, announces that he will run again if the recall makes it to the ballot.

June 9: Issa donates another $200,000 to recall campaign, bringing his total contributions to the recall effort to $645,000.

June 17: Controller Steve Westly, state Treasurer Phil Angelides and Attorney General Bill Lockyer -- all Democrats -- rule out running for governor if the recall makes it to the ballot.

June 19: Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante says he will not run for governor if the recall campaign is successful.

July 10: Republican activists trying to recall Davis sue the Democratic secretary of state and five counties, saying they've purposely slowed the counting of signatures.

July 14: Davis allies sue to challenge the signature-gathering process, saying they discovered widespread illegalities in the Republican-led signature drive.

July 17: Democratic National Committee chairman vows that no Democrat will run to replace Davis, if the recall drive reaches the ballot. "I want the folks here in California to know that we are not going to have another Democrat on the ballot," DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe says.

July 18: A Los Angeles Superior Court judge blocks the effort by Davis allies who had asked for a temporary restraining order in order to investigate allegations of illegal signature-gathering. The group appeals. Also, in Sacramento, an appeals court sides with recall supporters that sued the secretary of state to speed up signature verification.

July 23: California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley announces that Davis will face a recall election. Voters will be asked whether Davis should be recalled on the first part of the ballot, and then will be asked to name his replacement on the second part.

July 24: Bustamante sets the recall election for Oct. 7.

July 31: Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt files papers to run for governor, joining more than 200 would-be candidates who will have to pay $3,500 and turn in 65 signatures, or collect 10,000 signatures, to qualify for the ballot.

Aug. 6: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announces on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" that he will run for governor. Bustamante, breaking ranks with fellow prominent Democrats, announces he too will run. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein rules out run for governor, saying the election is "more and more like a carnival every day."

Aug. 7: Davis and the American Civil Liberties Union file separate federal lawsuits claiming that if the recall election takes place as planned thousands of California voters would be disenfranchised. Both lawsuits ask that the recall election be postponed until March 2004.

Aug. 7: Insurance Commission John Garamendi, a Democrat, announces that he'll run for governor.

Aug. 8: The California Supreme Court declines to intervene in the recall election, clearing the way for an Oct. 7 vote. Several federal lawsuits remain.

Aug. 8: A Los Angeles Superior Court judge refuses to halt the Oct. 7 election over allegations that petition signatures had been improperly collected, saying there wasn't enough evidence of fraud.

Aug. 8: Former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth announces his candidacy for governor, joining fellow Republicans businessman Bill Simon, state Sen. Tom McClintock and Schwarzenegger in the race to replace Davis.

Aug. 9: Under pressure from Democrats, Garamendi drops his bid for governor hours before the deadline to file his candidacy papers.

Aug. 9: 247 potential candidates file papers to run for governor before the deadline, including Independent candidates columnist Arianna Huffington, actor Gary Coleman and comedian Gallagher.

Aug. 11: The secretary of state conducts drawing to reorder the alphabet to determine candidates' order on the ballot.

Aug. 13: The secretary of state certifies 135 gubernatorial candidates for the recall election.

Aug. 23: Republican Bill Simon drops out of the California recall race.

Sept. 3: Five candidates -- Bustamante, Camejo, McClintock, Huffington and Ueberroth -- face off at the first gubernatorial debate. Schwarzenegger bows out, saying he'll take part in a later debate. Davis doesn't take part in the debate, but is given 30 minutes to state his case to voters.

Sept. 9: Ueberroth drops out of the recall race.

Sept. 14: Former President Clinton begins campaigning against the recall, appearing with Davis in Los Angeles.

Sept. 15: A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halts the recall election, saying it is unacceptable that six counties would be using outdated punch-card ballots, the type that sparked the "hanging chads" litigation in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. Recall supporters say they'll appeal the decision.


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