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California Republicans Skip Endorsement Vote In Recall

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Andrew Nixon
A sign promotes recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom at a Jan. 6 rally of Trump supporters at the California Capitol. Andrew Nixon / CapRadio

The California Republican Party will not throw its weight behind a candidate in the race to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom during September’s recall election.

The reversal came during a virtual meeting Saturday morning where delegates had gathered to possibly hand out an endorsement.

National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon motioned to cancel the vote “so that we can issue a ‘no endorsement’ in this race and keep our focus on recalling the worst governor in the United States, Gavin Newsom.”

Ninety percent of delegates agreed to move forward without giving out an endorsement for the September 14 vote.

The move reportedly came after former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer sent an email to delegates urging them to move forward without endorsing a candidate.

Faulconer had been seen as the frontrunner and party favorite to replace Newsom but has fallen behind Larry Elder in polls and fundraising following the conservative radio host’s late entrance to the race.

Faulconer’s press secretary Gustavo Portela said since no high-profile Democrat filed to run in the recall, “the California Republican Party’s sole focus should be ensuring that we defeat Newsom by passing question one” on the recall ballot, which asks voters whether they want to remove the governor from office.

Party chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said the move “speaks to the strength of our field of candidates and the outstanding position our party is in going into the recall election”

“We are squarely focused on putting California back on track by recalling the worst governor in California history,” she said.

Winning the party’s backing would have required a high bar of 60% support from delegates, a high bar with four candidates — Elder, Faulconer, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and Former Rep. Doug Ose — in the running. Ex-Newsom challenger John Cox and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner did not meet the qualifications, which required nominations from at least 200 party delegates.

Copyright 2021 CapRadio