SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Governor Gavin Newsom has kicked off a four day campaign swing to encourage Californians to vote no on the recall. The event in San Francisco was likely a preview of what voters across the state will hear from the governor over the next month.
"Today, the polls show that this race is neck and neck," said California Assemblyman David Chiu. "And if Democrats don't turn out, we are going to have a Republican governor in a couple weeks."
The recall, in a nutshell there, as described by Chiu, just one of the San Francisco Democrats who rallied behind the governor today. Some of them, like District Attorney Chesa Boudin and Mayor London Breed, don't always see eye to eye.
"...we are united in our support for the Governor," Mayor Breed said.
Along with party unity, Friday's event had a heavy emphasis on one of Newsom's 46 challengers: radio host Larry Elder.
"I think this is important to know, Larry Elder is running away with this on the other side," Newsom said. "He's to the right of Donald Trump. To the right of Donald Trump."
"Fighting a war, you have to stir opposition to the enemy," said UC Berkeley's Bruce Fuller, "I think he's probably doing that."
Fuller says the governor's challenge is solidifying his own standing among the voters who handily elected him. Shifting some focus to a challenger is one part of that, but it will take more.
"I think he does have to keep schools open," Fuller said. "And I think his mandate for teachers to be vaccinated is a very clear, vivid signal to suburban parents and families who have been going nuts the last 18 months."
As the month-long recall gets underway, the governor is taking a more direct approach with his opponents.
"Not only have we had better health outcomes in the last 18 months, we had better economic outcomes in the last 18 months," Newsom said Friday. "Our economy contracted at a much lower rate than Texas and Florida and Indiana, and the United States as a whole. Because we lead with science and facts. All of that is at risk."
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