Monday October 18th, 2021 8:47AM

California recall brings Harris home to support Gov. Newsom

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris returned to her home state of California on Wednesday to rally voters against the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose campaign expressed growing confidence the first-term Democrat would survive the attempt to remove him from office a year early.

Harris crafted the race as a battle between California's progressive values and Republicans looking to take the nation's most populous state backward on women's rights, abortion access and labor and immigrant rights. She echoed Newsom's campaign message that the outcome will ripple beyond the state.

“California, let us send a message to the world that these are the things we stand for, these are the things we fight for, and we will not give up," Harris told a cheering crowd of about 200 volunteers and labor union members in San Leandro, a San Francisco Bay Area community not far from Oakland, where she was born.

California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, is a laboratory for many progressive policies before they hit the national stage and losing a liberal governor would be a national embarrassment for the Democratic Party. President Joe Biden also is expected in California just ahead of Tuesday’s election.

“My name may appear on the ballot, but we’re all on the ballot. Our principles, our values are on the ballot,” Newsom said before introducing Harris.

The outcome also will provide a test ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when control of Congress and more than half of the nation’s governorships are up for grabs.

The California Republican Party said Harris’ appearance was inappropriate as some Californians remain stuck in Afghanistan following the U.S. withdrawal.

“It is both pathetic and telling that Vice President Harris and Governor Newsom think political campaigning is a better use of time today than working to rescue the California children and families, Americans and allies who were abandoned in Afghanistan by the Biden administration,” party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said in a statement.

Three California school districts said recently that they know of more than 30 children who have not been able to return from Afghanistan. They are among U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents looking to escape Taliban rule, and President Joe Biden has promised that evacuation efforts will continue for the 100 to 200 American citizens who want to leave.

The visit by Harris, a longtime friend and political ally of Newsom, came with six days left in the recall campaign. More than 6 million of the state's 22 million registered voters already have cast ballots by mail. Voting ends Tuesday.

Democrats hold a 2-to-1 registration edge over Republicans, making the recall a decidedly uphill battle for the GOP. A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California released last week showed a slight majority of Californians approve of Newsom's job performance and a larger majority — 58% — oppose the recall.

The election has two questions: First, whether voters believe the governor should be recalled, and then, who should replace him. Voters choose from a list of 46 replacement candidates — most of them political unknowns. With so many candidates, if the recall succeeds, it’s possible a candidate could win with 25% or less of the vote. Newsom won in a landslide in 2018.

Republicans have gone after Newsom for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy, with business owners and parents expressing frustration over long-lasting restrictions on businesses, mask mandates and school closures. In contrast, Newsom has sought to nationalize the recall campaign, tying the effort to restrictive voting laws passed by Republican legislatures and warning during a campaign event last weekend that “we did not defeat Trumpism” in 2020.

As Newsom campaigned with Harris, his Republican rivals greeted voters across the state. Talk radio host Larry Elder, the GOP frontrunner, told reporters in Los Angeles that Harris and Biden were trying to distract attention from Newsom’s record on widespread homelessness, rising crime and long-running school and business closures during the pandemic.

“They are so afraid, they want to federalize this election. This is about California,” said Elder, who could become the state’s first Black governor. “This federal firepower is not going to help him.”

Elder spoke briefly with reporters after voting at an election center and before starting a statewide bus tour. Asked if he had concerns about the integrity of the election, he said “there might very well be shenanigans, as there were in the 2020 election,” referring to former President Donald Trump’s unsupported claims of fraud in his loss to Biden.

In a briefing with reporters, Newsom campaign manager Juan Rodriguez and other advisers said the governor's bold actions to contain the coronavirus may prove decisive.

Newsom was the first governor in the country to issue a statewide stay-at-home order in March 2020, and he's embraced mask and vaccine mandates in the face of the highly contagious delta variant of the virus. Elder and other leading Republican candidates all say they would undo mask and vaccine mandates.

Newsom strategist Ace Smith said he believes the outcome will show a “clear mandate, not only against the recall, but for sanity" on public health.

In the late spring and summer, Newsom’s campaign messaging centered on the idea that California was “roaring back” from the pandemic. California dropped almost all of its restrictions on businesses and gatherings on June 15, allowing people to return to baseball games, concerts and other large gatherings.

The campaign ceased that messaging by midsummer as the delta variant raged. Instead, it focused on a contrast between what Newsom and his Republican rivals would do.

“We have a bunch of crazy people on the other side” who don’t want people to wear masks and take vaccines, Newsom adviser Sean Clegg said.

Harris said Newsom's pandemic actions are reflective of his penchant for stepping out front on contentious issues, like when he went against federal law to issue marriage licenses to LGBT couples as mayor of San Francisco in 2004.

“Gavin rose to the moment," she said.

Harris isn't the only national political figure assisting Newsom. U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar joined Newsom last weekend. Former President Barack Obama recorded an ad urging Californians to vote no on the recall.


Blood reported from Los Angeles. AP polling writer Hannah Fingerhut and AP reporter Alex Jaffe in Washington contributed.


See AP’s complete coverage of the California recall election:

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
California recall brings Harris home to support Gov. Newsom
Vice President Kamala Harris urged voters in her home state of California to defend the Democratic Party's progressive values by defeating the recall against Gov. Gavin Newsom
7:19PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Ida deaths rise by 11 in New Orleans; Louisiana toll now 26
Officials have raised Hurricane Ida's death toll in Louisiana to 26
7:01PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Prosecutor: Robert Durst gold medalist in running from truth
Prosecutors say there is overwhelming evidence proving New York real estate heir Robert Durst killed his best friend 21 years ago
6:55PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Gen. Lee statue comes down in former Confederate capital
A statue of Gen. Robert E
6:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
Yankees star Derek Jeter inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame
Former Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter, Colorado star Larry Walker, Ted Simmons of the Cardinals and Brewers, and the late labor executive Marvin Miller were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
6:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
Report: Solar could power 40% of US electricity by 2035
A new federal report say solar energy has the potential to power up to 40% of the nation’s electricity within 15 years — a 10-fold increase over current solar output
5:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
What is the mu variant of the coronavirus?
The mu variant of the coronavirus was first identified in Colombia in January and has since caused isolated outbreaks in South America, Europe and the United States
3:30PM ( 3 hours ago )
Ida curfew lifted in New Orleans; 250K students still out
New Orleans has lifted a nightly curfew as the city moves closer to regaining full power, but 96% of utility customers in Louisiana's hardest-hit communities are still without electricity
3:14PM ( 4 hours ago )
9/11 Day co-founders plan CNN special to generate good deeds
David Paine and Jay Winuk — who successfully lobbied the federal government to officially rename the day September 11 National Day of Service & Remembrance – have packed and distributed thousands of meals across the country, as well as encouraged millions to commemorate the day with volunteerism
2:14PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
AP source: Trump to endorse GOP challenger to Cheney
Former President Donald Trump has chosen a favored candidate in his bid to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney, one of his most vocal critics
3:38PM ( 3 hours ago )
Newsom's nightmare: How one November day fueled the recall
The recall election against California Gov. Gavin Newsom stems from two key events on a single day last November
1:19AM ( 18 hours ago )
California recall fueled by a dinner, a ruling on same day
The recall election against California Gov. Gavin Newsom stems from two key events on a single day last November
3:41PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Seeing danger, some in GOP leery of Texas abortion law
Almost instantly after most abortions were banned in Texas, Democrats were decrying the new law as unconstitutional, an assault on women’s health that must be challenged
12:05AM ( 5 days ago )
Wisconsin election probe includes $325,000 for data analysis
Nearly half of the money being spent on a Republican-ordered investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 presidential election is earmarked for data analysis related to voting machines
2:58PM ( 1 week ago )
EXPLAINER: Details of the final version of Texas voting bill
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he will sign sweeping changes to the state's election code that would make it harder — sometimes even legally riskier — to cast a ballot
9:00PM ( 1 week ago )
General Election News
Jan. 6 riot defendant returned to jail for using internet
A federal judge is ordering a prominent participant in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to return to jail, saying he violated his pretrial release conditions by accessing the internet to watch false conspiracies about the election
5:22PM ( 6 days ago )
Democrats promote Cheney to vice chairwoman of Jan. 6 panel
House Democrats have promoted Republican Rep. Liz Cheney to vice chairwoman of a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection
10:27AM ( 6 days ago )
Venezuelan opposition to participate in regional elections
Venezuelan opposition parties say they will participate in the regional and municipal elections scheduled for November, a reversal from their boycotts of recent balloting
6:14PM ( 1 week ago )
General Presidential Election News
Lagging in polls, Merkel party's candidate seeks expert help
The center-right Union bloc’s candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in Germany's election this month is struggling to reverse a sustained downward trend in the polls
8:10AM ( 5 days ago )
Trudeau criticized for calling Canadian election in 4th wave
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his decision to call an election during the pandemic in first debate of the campaign for this month’s election
10:53PM ( 5 days ago )
Tea party 2.0? Conservatives get organized in school battles
A loose network of conservative groups with ties to major Republican donors and party-aligned think tanks is quietly lending firepower to local activists engaged in the culture war fights in schools across the country
12:08AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Ida deaths rise by 11 in New Orleans; Louisiana toll now 26
Officials have raised Hurricane Ida's death toll in Louisiana to 26
7:01PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Prosecutor: Robert Durst gold medalist in running from truth
Prosecutors say there is overwhelming evidence proving New York real estate heir Robert Durst killed his best friend 21 years ago
6:55PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Half of US offers legal sports betting as NFL season begins
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys kick off the NFL season Thursday night, people in more than half the states in America will be able to bet on football legally
6:52PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Sirianni, Hurts prepare to reveal new-look Eagles offense
First-year Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni took pains during the preseason not to give away his plans for the offense and how he will tailor it to the strengths of quarterback Jalen Hurts
6:49PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Idaho patients in hospital halls amid COVID rationed care
Idaho’s move to crisis standards of care this week is allowing some hospitals to ration health care amid an onslaught of coronavirus patients and officials are warning the the rationing could spread to hospitals statewide
6:45PM ( 37 minutes ago )