Harris Rallies for California Governor Facing Recall Election

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Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday returned to her home state of California to campaign for Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall election in the country’s most populous state.

Harris appeared with Newsom in San Leandro and urged voters to vote against the recall effort. The area is not far from Oakland, where Harris was born.

Prior to her appointment as vice president, Harris was a U.S. senator representing California. Before that, she served as the state’s attorney general for six years.

She sought to portray the election as one where Democrat and Republican priorities clash, while echoing Newsom’s campaign message that the impact of the recall will not be limited to just California.

“What’s happening in Texas, what’s happening in Georgia, what’s happening around our country with these policies that are about attacking women’s rights, reproductive rights, voting rights, worker’s rights,” Harris, a Democrat, told a crowd of about 200 volunteers and labor union members in San Leandro, just six days ahead of the gubernatorial recall election day on Sept. 14.

“They think if they can win in California they can do this anywhere. Well, we will show them you are not going to get this done. Not here, ever.”

“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,” she added.

In her speech of just over 10 minutes, Harris praised the incumbent governor for his handling of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

She said that Newsom, who won in a landslide in 2018, “led with courage” during the pandemic’s early days by issuing a statewide stay-at-home order in March 2020 ahead of other states to limit the CCP virus’s spread, reported The Sacramento Bee.

Harris also mentioned Newsom’s time as mayor of San Francisco in 2004, when he issued same-sex marriage licenses at a time when same-sex unions were not recognised as marriage in any state, saying that he “has had the courage to believe in and know what is possible,” according to KGO.

The vice president praised Newsom’s stance on abortion access, saying that those who oppose him “wouldn’t be trying to recall him but for the fact that he has always stood for reproductive rights.”

At the same time, Harris criticized Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, for his comments earlier this week on a Texas law that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Abbott was asked why the law didn’t make exceptions for cases of rape and incest, to which he responded that the state “will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets.”

Harris accused Abbott of having “arrogantly dismissed concerns about rape survivors.” She attempted to draw a distinction between Abbott and Newsom, asserting that “to speak those words that were empty words, that were false words, that were fueled with not only arrogance but bravado—that is not who we want in our leaders. We want in our leaders someone like Gavin Newsom who always speaks the truth.”

Outside the outdoor venue, more than a dozen protesters loudly chanted “Free, free Afghanistan!” and “No deals for the Taliban,” reported the New York Post. Others held signs to push for Newsom’s recall, and to support Larry Elder, the leading Republican challenger in the recall election.

Elder is among 46 candidates seeking to replace Newsom if the governor is removed via the recall effort. The recall election will ask voters to decide whether Newsom should be recalled, and if so, who should replace him.

The recall election was made possible after a petition drive by a group called the Patriot Coalition. A total of 1,719,900 verified signatures in favor were gathered, which met the threshold needed to trigger the election.

Those seeking to oust Newsom from office are unhappy with a slew of issues and policies in the state, including Newsom’s handing the CCP virus pandemic. Business owners and parents have expressed disapproval over prolonged restrictions on businesses and shutdowns on in-person schooling. Others had been frustrated with mask and vaccination mandates, which Newsom has returned to embracing amid the spread of the more contagious Delta variant. Some also cite the time when Newsom attended a gathering at a Michelin-starred restaurant while telling Californians to stay home in late 2020.

Elder and other leading Republican candidates all say they would undo mask and vaccine mandates in favor of recommendations for communities to self-implement.

Residents have also expressed disapproval over Newsom’s handling of the economy. The state has some of the highest taxes in the nation and a homelessness problem that is spiraling out of control.

On June 23, an investigative report by CapRadio showed that Newsom had misled the public about his wildfire prevention efforts. The report concluded that Newsom had overstated by 690 percent the number of acres treated with firebreaks and prescribed burns. Newsom said fire prevention work was conducted on 90,000 acres, but the state’s own figures say the number was 11,399, according to the report.

Other prominent Democrats have also thrown their support behind Newsom against the recall, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) having campaigned with Newsom last weekend.

Former President Barack Obama released an ad on Wednesday that focused on Newsom’s actions amid the CCP virus pandemic. It urged residents to vote “no” on what it said was a partisan recall effort.

“Governor Newsom has spent the last year and a half protecting California communities. Now Republicans are trying to recall him from office and overturn common sense COVID safety measures for healthcare workers and school staff,” Obama said in the video.

An Emerson College poll in March found that 58 percent of Democrat and 55 percent of Independent voters would “be open to another Democratic candidate besides Newsom.”

President Joe Biden is also expected to campaign for the governor in California before the election.

Meanwhile, billionaire donor George Soros has given $1 million to a group called “Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom.”

This is the second recall election in California’s history. The first recall election was in 2003, when Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, was replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who ran as a Republican.

Ivan Pentchoukov and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mimi Nguyen Ly

Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter based in Australia. She covers world news with a focus on U.S. news. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com.

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