Supporters of a drive to recall Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Claremont, turned in thousands of signatures Tuesday to election officials in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, a step that could lead to a recall election early next year.

The estimated signatures turned in Tuesday and earlier this month give recall proponents an estimated 58,542 signatures, thousands more than the roughly 36,000 signatures needed to call for a recall election. Elections officials must now determine how many of the signatures are from registered voters in Adams' 59th District.

"I feel beyond confident that we'll have 36,000 and quite a bit more," recall proponent Lee Lowry said.

Adams did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

To call for a recall election, supporters needed to gather 35,825 signatures from registered voters in Adams' sprawling district, which stretches from San Bernardino County's High Desert to just west of La Canada.

Recall proponents turned in an estimated 5,486 signatures on Tuesday, the final to submit recall petitions.

Election officials have eight business days to count the signatures by hand, said San Bernardino County Registrar Kari Verjil.

A group of Orange County conservatives started the recall drive against Adams in May, three months after Adams and five other Republicans sided with Democrats in the state Legislature and voted for a budget deal that called for raising the state's sales tax and vehicle license fee.


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Adams, like many California Republicans, had promised to not vote for tax increases.

Adams did not return calls for comment Tuesday, but has said the state could not have overcome a massive budget deficit in February had he and others not voted to raise taxes.

After election officials count the total number of signatures, they will have 30 days to determine how many of the signatures are from registered voters in Adams' district.

Verjil said she and her Los Angeles County counterpart will first check a small sample - 3 percent of the signatures - and report the results to the Secretary of State.

Based on those results, the counties might have to check every signature.

If the total number of signatures is about 58,000, about 62 percent of signatures will need to be valid for the recall to qualify.

Lowry, one of the Orange County Republicans leading the recall campaign, said internal checks of the signatures gathered showed between 75 percent and 80 percent were valid.

If recall backers have enough signatures, the Secretary of State will have until Feb. 4 to ask Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to call a recall election.