Biden to stump with California governor against Republican-backed recall

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Biden hosts labor unions event at the White House in Washington

By Sharon Bernstein

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - President Joe Biden will campaign for California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday as Democrats keep rolling out their biggest names to fight a Republican-backed recall attempt in the deep blue state.

Biden will appear with the embattled governor in the port city of Long Beach near Los Angeles in the campaign's final rally before the special recall election on Sept. 14, Newsom campaign spokesman Nathan Click said in an emailed announcement on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris campaigned in the San Francisco Bay Area for Newsom. She painted the recall, heavily supported financially by state and national Republican groups, as part of that party's broader effort to oust Democrats from power and expand conservative restrictions on voting, abortion and LGBTQ rights.

"They think if they can win in California, they can do this anywhere," Harris told a crowd of supporters and union members. "Well we’ll show them you are not going to get this done – not here – never."

The special recall election is being held as the country's most-populous state faces an unprecedented onslaught of troubles including wildfires, extreme drought and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The recall question was placed on the ballot after a petition drive by a conservative group called the Patriot Coalition.

Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1 in the state, and a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed 58% of likely voters opposed recalling Newsom, a first-term governor.

But complacency among Democrats could tilt the election toward Republicans, who are motivated to vote by their opposition to Newsom's progressive policies on immigration and crime.

The Democratic governor's decision to shut down in-person schooling during the worst of the pandemic has also angered some conservatives, as have mask and vaccination mandates.

In addition to stumping for Newsom, Biden will tour a wildfire-damaged area near Sacramento, visit the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho and campaign for his Build Back Better agenda in Colorado during his trip to the West next week, the White House said.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by David Gregorio)

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