Harris reveals intent to campaign for California Gov. Newsom in recall race

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a recall election in September that was driven in large part by constituents upset by his management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While most polls signal that he will survive the vote and remain in office, his campaign will nonetheless boast support from one prominent California Democrat: Vice President Kamala Harris.

“High-profile surrogate”

According to the Washington Examiner, Harris confirmed this week that she would be campaigning for Newsom.

The revelation is not necessarily surprising given that both officials started their political careers in the San Francisco area at around the same time. Harris went on to become a district attorney, state attorney general, and U.S. senator while Newsom’s path included the offices of mayor and lieutenant governor before his current position.

A San Francisco Chronicle reporter brought up the subject with the vice president at the U.S. Capitol, asking her if she intended to campaign on Newsom’s behalf ahead of the upcoming recall election.

“Yes,” Harris replied, declining to offer specifics regarding what that campaign support might entail.

The newspaper noted that the vice president will be a “high-profile surrogate” for the governor and could provide a boost to his fundraising efforts.

“Destined to clash”

As the Examiner noted, Newsom appeared to give Harris a nod of approval shortly after she launched her own bid in the Democratic presidential primary. In 2019, the governor declared that “the American people could not do better” than to elect Harris as president.

In reporting the vice president’s vow to campaign for Newsom, Axios highlighted her remarks earlier this year on the subject of the pair’s dual rise in California politics.

“Gavin and I go back to being elected at the same time in San Francisco, many, many years ago, and I’ll tell you, I’ve seen firsthand what a leader he is and how he really does put his heart into his work on behalf of the people of California,” she said in May.

While the two Democrats clearly appear to be allies, a recent op-ed in The Orange County Register asked whether they were “destined to clash,” as soon as the 2024 election, in pursuit of the White House.

With President Joe Biden unlikely to seek re-election, Harris would naturally be his heir apparent. Given the poor public reception she has received so far in the Biden administration, however, there could easily be an open primary season for the Democratic nomination to succeed the current president.

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