Vice President Kamala Harris is enthusiastic about campaigning for fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom in his effort to save his job as California’s governor at the election to recall him from office on September 14.
Elected to office in 2019, Newsom is subject to removal from office before the scheduled end of his term in January 2023. According to California law, the recall election was initiated when more than 1.7 million verified signatures were collected on an official petition to allow voters to determine if he should be allowed to continue as governor.
The recall ballot will first ask voters to say whether Newsom should be recalled. Next, voters will be asked to select his replacement from a large slate of contenders if he is placed.
A simple majority vote will cause Newsom to be recalled. In that event, the replacement candidate receiving the most votes would complete the unexpired term as governor.
California has held only one other gubernatorial recall election in the state’s history, in 2003. That year voters recalled Democrat Gray Davis as governor. Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as his replacement. Schwarzenegger’s subsequent election to a full term as governor in 2006 was the last time a Republican won a statewide election in California.
Harris has been a political ally of Newsom for many years, going back even further than her time in office as a U.S. Senator from California and as the state’s attorney general.
When the San Francisco Chronicle asked her whether she would campaign for Newsom as she was leaving the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the vice president turned to the paper’s reporter to ensure that her “yes” answer was audible. When asked, Harris’ office did not provide additional details of how she will support Newsom.
Harris is expected to significantly boost Newsom’s fundraising efforts in the weeks leading to the election.
During the early parts of the recall process that focused on gathering enough signatures to bring the recall question to the voters, polls have shown that most California voters support Newsom against a recall effort.
It is unclear whether President Biden would actively campaign for Newsom, but the White House has shown its public support for the embattled governor.