FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Democrats around the state, including Fresno City Councilmember Nelson Esparza, believed some of the rioters who stormed the US Capitol last week are also focused on California.
Esparza said, "Some of the same folks who participated in this un-American assault on democracy are the same folks behind the effort to recall Governor Newsom right here in California."
The state Democratic Party believed a group funding the recall, the California Patriot Coalition, was directly linked to extremists involved in the violent insurrection in DC.
California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks said, "This recall effort which ought to be called 'The California Coup' is being led by right-wing conspiracy theorists, White Nationalists, anti-vaxxers."
The chair of the Fresno County Republican party insisted that was not the case. Fred Vanderhoof said, "There's definitely no radicals like the Democrats are saying. They're just trying to jump on the bandwagon from what's happening in Washington DC."
Gubernatorial recall petitions were being signed all over the Valley, including at local gun stores.
Vanderhoof added they're being signed by people frustrated by the handling of the pandemic.
He said, "Most of these signatures are because of these lockdowns and businesses are going out of business. Many Democrats own them too."
But Democrats said a recall effort against the governor, and its diversion of time, was not what is needed right now in California.
Vanderhoof said, "Most of these signatures are because of these lockdowns and businesses are going out of business. Many Democrats own them too."
Randy Economy, a spokesperson for the California Patriots Coalition, told Action News, "They are sadly out of touch of reality of what this recall is all about. Of course, they're going to go ahead and label us as whatever they want to label us as. That's going to put us in a negative light."
But Democrats said a recall effort against the governor, and its diversion of time, is not what is needed right now in California.
State Democrats believe some Capitol rioters are also focused on California