Recall-mania is back in 2024, as a group hoping to recall Mayor Sheng Thao has enough verified signatures to make the November 2024 ballot and possibly remove the embattled mayor.

The height of the recall craze seems to have passed in San Francisco, after 2021’s unsuccessful attempt to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, and the twin successful SF school board and district attorney recall elections. But the recall movement is all over the 2024 political landscape in the East Bay this year, as the effort to recall Alameda County DA Pamela Price has made the November 5 ballot. And so it is with the Oakland mayor’s office too, as Oaklandside reports that the Recall Sheng Thao movement has gathered enough verified signatures to qualify for the November 5 ballot as well.

Recall supporters needed 25,000 signatures to qualify, they got more than 40,000 which were verified. The November 5 date for the recall election is not a certainty, but according to Oaklandside, “Under state law, the recall will most likely be folded into the November general election.”

So will the recall effort succeed? The recall campaign’s press conference announcement seen above did not have a particularly impressive turnout. But Thao is certainly hobbled by an increase in crime in Oakland (which has recently reversed), the year-long lack of a police chief (though Thao recently hired a new chief), and whether it's fair or not, the loss of the Oakland A’s.  

And the recall campaign has tech mogul Ron Conway (as well as Conway’s brother) among its top funders, so the effort is likely to benefit from significant amounts of out-of-town money.

Thao was barely elected in 2022 via ranked-choice voting, and a recall election brings challenges that ranked-choice winners do not enjoy. Ranked-choice winners get by on second- and third-place votes, recall elections are merely a 50% up-or-down vote.

Thao will be less than halfway through her duly elected term when the recall vote happens. And the recall-mania crowd seems to be figuring out, to paraphrase an old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em in a normal election, recall ‘em.”

Related: Very Predictably, Effort to Recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao Now Afoot [SFist]

Image: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: Sheng Thao speaks onstage at the TAAF Heritage Month Summit at The Glasshouse on May 02, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images for The Asian American Foundation)