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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Govenor Gray Davis Fighting To Stay In Office

Aired July 24, 2003 - 19:39   ET

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

COOPER: All right, California Governor Gray Davis is in the political fight of his life. On October 7, he's be the first governor in 80 years to face a recall election. It's a special election that could cost the voters of California between $30 million and $35 million.
With details on what comes next, we join CNN's Frank Buckley in California tonight -- Frank.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Anderson.

A lot is going to happen very quickly here in California. First of all, Governor Davis is going to begin fighting like crazy to save his job. Today he was out with law enforcement officials in Southern California as he started to make these public appearances.

The next thing he'll have to do is to start raising a lot of money. A campaign source tells me that the campaign will report $875,000 cash on hand at the end of this month. That is nothing in a state like this, where it will cost him $1 to $3 million per week to do saturation media.

Now, while Governor Davis is fighting for his political career, elections officials are going to be working to put this election on. They normally have 130 days to put on a statewide election. Now that the clock is ticking on a 77-day period, they have to hire 100,000 poll workers, find 20,000 to 25,000 polling places, and distribute 15 million pamphlets to voters.

Many people here unhappy about it, including the guy who set the election date today. Here's what the lieutenant governor had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope that the voters will turn this down, because what we're going to end up having is a time of perpetual elections. It wouldn't surprise me one bit that the other side has a recall of whoever wins this election. And then where does it stop?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: Now, voters will be asked one simple question, Shall Gray Davis be recalled as governor? And then a second question will be, If he is recalled, who do you want to replace him? We don't know who those candidates are yet. They're expected to file their papers by the weekend of August 9, Anderson.

COOPER: Just a fascinating story. Frank Buckley, thanks very much.

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