(Bloomberg) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom faces a new recall effort from some of the same organizers who tried and failed to unseat him in 2021. 

Rescue California cited rising crime and the state’s yawning budget deficit in unveiling a long-shot attempt at recalling the governor. The group also accused Newsom of being too distracted by presidential politics to govern California. 

“This man knows his political game like the back of his hand,” Anne Hyde Dunsmore, political strategist with Rescue California, told a Los Angeles television station. “He is not a novice, he is an expert at pivoting, twisting, never really going over the line with lying, but he is deceptive and he is carrying that onto a national stage.” 

Newsom easily overcame the 2021 recall campaign and went on the next year to win reelection by a landslide, bolstering his national profile and emerging as a potential Democratic presidential contender for 2028. He dismissed the latest bid to remove him from office as a sideshow amid this year’s presidential election, which is shaping up as a rematch of the 2020 contest between Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.

“Trump Republicans are launching another wasteful recall campaign to distract us from the existential fight for democracy and reproductive freedom,” Newsom said in a post on X. “We will defeat them.”

Rescue California is betting on voter discontent over the state’s rising budget deficit, according to Politico, which earlier reported the recall effort. Organizers of the campaign say Newsom is using “gimmickry” to hide the true extent of the deficit, which the state Legislative Analyst’s Office has projected at $73 billion. Newsom maintains the shortfall is much lower.

The group also criticized California’s policy of granting health benefits to undocumented immigrants, and argued that heavy spending on curbing homelessness and easing other social ills hasn‘t been effective, Politico said.

In addition, backers of the recall campaign faulted Newsom for focusing more on national politics than the problems in California. Last weekend, Newsom released a new TV ad in Tennessee accusing elected officials of waging a “war on travel” and holding women hostage who seek to travel out of state for reproductive care.  

To qualify for the November ballot, organizers must collect almost 1.5 million signatures.

(Corrects to remove reference in second paragraph to Rescue California as being a project of the California Taxpayers Coalition. The group organizing the recall isn’t affiliated with the California Taxpayers Coalition.)

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