LOS ANGELES—Republican candidates in their first televised debate Wednesday in California’s upcoming recall election face a gamble: whether to pile on Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom or try to downplay each other in front of a statewide audience. To do.
That’s the risk in an evening contest at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Orange County, Calif., which will provide a first look for many voters in the partial Republican field that expects to see Newsom ousted in the Sept. 14 election. .
The two most famous candidates will be conspicuously absent: Caitlyn Jenner is filming a reality TV program in Australia, while conservative talk radio host Larry Elder will be at a Bakersfield fundraiser. His spokesman said Elder wanted to debate Newsom and warned in a Twitter post that a “circular firing squad” among GOP candidates would only benefit the governor.
This was echoed by candidate Kevin Kelly’s advisor Tim Rosales, who said the four contestants on stage needed to keep “firing at Newsom”.
For Kelly, a Sacramento-area assembly member, “this is her first real, big opportunity to introduce herself” to voters across the state, Rosales said. “He’s going to talk about the difference between himself and Government Newsom.”
The stakes are set high with mail-in ballots going to voters in about two weeks. Polls suggest the race is getting tighter, with Newsom’s once comfortable lead as coronavirus cases reportedly climb and mask restrictions are back in much of the state.
The debate comes at a time when Republicans have already seen signs of infighting that could skew the turnout and distract from the goal of toppling Newsom. Candidate John Cox, who lost to Newsom in the 2018 gubernatorial race, has accused GOP insiders of trying to support former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulkner.
The recall, which could have ousted Newsom in the middle of his first term, came out of widespread frustration during the pandemic over whipsaw stay-at-home orders, crushing job losses from business closures, and long-running schools. Life was interrupted by the closure. millions
Kelly, Cox and Faulkner will be joined by former Congressman Doug Ose, who represented a district in the Sacramento area.
Library officials said Newsom did not respond to the invitation.
“Every candidate at that stage is trying to connect with the voters,” Ose said in an interview. “I always talk about kitchen table issues. These are not partisan issues.”
Ose said he intended to make it clear that Congress and his experience on water, agriculture and energy issues set him apart from his rivals.
Faulkner also said he intended to emphasize his experience as an elected Republican in Democratic San Diego: “I think we’re going to do well.”
The contest is being seen nationally as a barometer of public mood heading towards the 2022 elections, when a closely divided Congress will be in play again. A Republican upset in a heavily Democratic state would be a surprise rebuke, and Newsom warned that his removal would have national implications in politics and policy-making.
Republican candidates have portrayed Newsom as an incompetent fop whose embattled leadership inflicted unnecessary financial pain during the pandemic. Democrats have sought to see the contest run by far-right extremists and supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Newsom appeared well positioned to beat the first recall attempt. But his stand has slipped, with polls showing Republicans are eager to vote, while many Democrats shy away from the election. Newsom is also being blamed by GOP candidates for rising crime rates and lack of energy and water.
Voters will be asked two questions: First, should Newsom be dropped, yes or no? The second question will be the list of replacement candidates from which to choose. If the majority votes to remove Newsom, the candidate with the most votes on the second question becomes the governor.
With 46 replacement candidates on the ballot, it is possible that a winner could emerge with at least 20 percent of the vote if Newsom is recalled – a fraction of the requirement of a candidate in a typical statewide election.
That unusual electoral math has allowed Republicans to target their campaigns largely at Republican and right-wing independents, which could provide a coalition strong enough to win.
Michael R. By Blood and Kathleen Roane
News Originally From – The Epoch Times