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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Deadline Passes in Davis Recall Effort

Aired July 23, 2003 - 20:36   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: We've just passed a big deadline in California. County election officials had until 8:00 Eastern or 5:00 Pacific time to finish counting and verifying signatures in the drive to recall Democratic Governor Gray Davis.
Judy Woodruff is standing by in Sacramento, where state officials will announce the results at the top of the hour.

Hi, Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula.

And I am at the state capitol, and it looks like in about 15 or 20 minutes from now, the secretary of state will hold a news conference and announce that there are more than enough signatures to require that the voters of California go to the polls to at least have an up or down vote on recalling their current Democratic governor, Gray Davis. That's going to make all the people who have been working for this recall very happy indeed.

Meanwhile, I should tell you that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor who's name has been thrown around a good bit, saw fit to put out a statement to say he has not decided yet whether or not he's going to run. There were rumors that he had decided he wasn't going. He's saying, No, I'm still thinking about it, although I will tell you there are reports his wife, Maria Shriver, is against it, thinks it's a bad idea.

In the meantime, the man at the center of the storm, Gray Davis -- I talked to him a little earlier this afternoon. He says he's not a quitter and he's trying to turn the focus to his critics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: The Democrats understand that this is a hostile takeover by the right. Now, the voters have the -- the voters have a right to have another election and I will present my credentials. I think at the end of the day, they will allow the state to go in the direction that I'm trying to lead it, not slam it in reverse and go backwards.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: So Paula, if you like interesting politics, they've got it here in California. This could be on the ballot as early as September, more likely in October. And it's going to be a free-for- all.

ZAHN: That's putting it mildly and you're going to have an awful lot of fun covering it, aren't you, Judy? Thanks for the update.

WOODRUFF: We're looking forward to it.

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