Full coverage: Biden shows support for Newsom in Long Beach

President Biden joins Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, during a campaign event
President Biden joins Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, during a campaign event at Long Beach City College on Monday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Voters decide in California’s recall election whether Gov. Gavin Newsom will stay in office.

Biden warns that an Elder recall victory would mean electing ‘a Trump clone’

Three people wave their hands.
President Biden, Gov. Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wave to the crowd at Long Beach City College on Monday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

President Biden campaigned for Gov. Gavin Newsom on the eve of the recall election Monday night, praising his fellow Democrat’s leadership during the pandemic and warning that a recall win by GOP front-runner Larry Elder would be disastrous.

“The eyes of the nation are on California because the decision you’re about to make isn’t just going to have a huge impact on California,” Biden told about 1,500 people at a chilly outdoor rally at Long Beach City College. “It’s going to reverberate around the nation and quite frankly … around the world.”

He ran through Elder’s controversial policy positions and remarks, such as calling for the elimination of the minimum wage and saying that women were not as smart as men on issues such as politics.

“Last year I got to run against the real Donald Trump. Well this year, the leading Republican running for governor is the closest thing to a Trump clone that I’ve ever seen,” Biden said. “Can you imagine him being governor of this state? You can’t let that happen. There’s too much at stake.”

Biden particularly praised Newsom’s handling of the pandemic, saying it was a model for the nation.

“We need courage. We need leadership. We need Gavin Newsom,” he said. “A governor who follows science and had the courage to do what’s right.”

Biden was the latest Democratic luminary to fly to California to stump for Newsom in recent days. Republicans have painted the visits as rescue missions and proof that they would be successful ousting the governor. But as the recall looks increasingly likely to fail in recent polling, the visits have also offered an opportunity for Democrats to take part in a successful campaign as they have struggled in recent weeks, notably over the administration’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

State GOP chairwoman Jessica Patterson pointed to the Americans who remain in that country.

“It’s clear protecting those they were elected to serve comes second to politics,” she said in a statement. “Lucky for Californians, we have a chance tomorrow to recall Gavin Newsom and replace him with a leader who finally puts their needs first.”

Polling over the summer had shown that the race was close because of apathy among Democratic voters. But an infusion of tens of millions of dollars on Newsom’s behalf coupled with the emergence of Elder as the top replacement candidate motivated Democrats to vote, with multiple polls showing the governor having a comfortable lead.

Democrats at the event were in a celebratory mood and heard from a series of prominent elected officials, labor leaders and other supporters. Advisors to Newsom predicted that, based on the vote-by-mail returns so far and their internal projections, there was no way the recall would succeed.

“There’s no scenario where we lose,” said Sean Clegg, an advisor to Newsom. “I may have a lot of Clegg on my face tomorrow, but I don’t see a scenario where we’re not talking about a victory for the governor.”

Newsom appeared in a buoyant mood, but warned Democrats not to be complacent.

“Long Beach, we have 24 more hours,” Newsom said before introducing Biden. “Twenty four more hours to vote no on this Republican recall. Twenty four more hours to send a message, a big and powerful message.”


Biden joins Newsom in Long Beach for final push against recall

President Biden joined Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday night for a final campaign stop in Long Beach on the eve of the recall election, lending his firepower to fight against the governor’s possible ouster and underscoring the national importance of defeating the effort.

“California, I’m not sure you know it,” Biden said. “This isn’t hyperbole: The eyes of the nation are on California because of the decision you’re about to make. The decision you’re about to make is going to have a huge impact on California, and it’s going to reverberate around the nation. And, quite frankly, not a joke — around the world.”

The rally capped a long day in the West for the president, and a months-long campaign for Newsom and his opponents. Earlier in the day, Biden traveled to Boise, Idaho, and Sacramento to survey wildfire damage and discuss his administration’s response.

A pre-show lineup of dignitaries from across Democratic Party ranks — including Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison, California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks and state elected officeholders — rallied the crowd of a few hundred people at Long Beach City College before the president and governor’s arrival shortly before 7 p.m.

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Opinion: Undocumented Californians have a lot to lose, but they can’t sway the recall

After flipping through the voter information guide that was mailed to my home a few weeks ago, I started counting up the pivotal elections I’ve witnessed firsthand but could not participate in.

The recall campaign against Gov. Gray Davis. The elections of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. All the local and state elections in all the cities where I’ve lived, from Washington to New York City to Los Angeles to Berkeley, my current home.

In my 28 years living as an undocumented immigrant in the United States — where I graduated from public schools, where I’ve built a career, where I pay all kinds of taxes (and, yes, the Internal Revenue Service is more than willing to collect them) — I’ve never voted in an election.

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From L.A. Times Studios: Recall roundtable with Times reporters and columnists

L.A. Times reporters and columnists talk about the 2021 California recall election.

L.A. Times reporters and columnists talk about what it has been like covering the 2021 California recall election

L.A. Times columnists and reporters talk about the 2021 California recall election


L.A. Times Today: Special recall episode

Tune into Spectrum News 1 at 7 p.m. for a special recall eve episode of “L.A. Times Today,” featuring Times data and graphics editor Ben Welsh, Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers and political reporter Seema Mehta.

VIDEO | 00:45
LA Times Today: Data and graphics editor Ben Welsh on tracking the recall election

Watch L.A. Times Today at 7 p.m. on Spectrum News 1 on Channel 1 or live stream on the Spectrum News App. Palos Verdes Peninsula and Orange County viewers can watch on Cox Systems on channel 99.

VIDEO | 00:31
Seema Mehta on the roots of the recall

Watch L.A. Times Today at 7 p.m. on Spectrum News 1 on Channel 1 or live stream on the Spectrum News App. Palos Verdes Peninsula and Orange County viewers can watch on Cox Systems on channel 99.

VIDEO | 00:46
LA Times Today: Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers on Recall Eve

Watch L.A. Times Today at 7 p.m. on Spectrum News 1 on Channel 1 or live stream on the Spectrum News App. Palos Verdes Peninsula and Orange County viewers can watch on Cox Systems on channel 99.


Biden lands in California to tour wildfire damage ahead of Newsom rally

President Biden speaks during a visit to the National Interagency Fire Center
President Biden speaks during a visit to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, on Monday.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Biden touched down here Monday afternoon to tour damage from wildfires that have exhausted firefighters and challenged his administration’s efforts to keep pace with the fallout of climate change.

He’s expected to survey destruction caused by the Caldor fire, which has stretched across more than 200,000 acres and destroyed at least 700 homes since igniting a month ago. Although firefighters halted the blaze before it could damage South Lake Tahoe, toxic waste runoff and sediment from the fire threatens the watershed, and the nearby town of Grizzly Flats was decimated. Biden approved a federal disaster declaration for the area Sunday.

The president was greeted on his arrival by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state’s Democratic leader who is facing a recall election on Tuesday. Biden is scheduled to campaign with Newsom on Monday evening in Long Beach.

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Biden to stump for Newsom as California recall candidates make last push

Candidates in California’s recall election fanned out across the state and on media networks Monday for a final appeal to voters ahead of election day, with President Biden expected to make an evening visit to Long Beach to stump for Gov. Gavin Newsom.

After spending the day in Boise, Idaho, and Sacramento touring wildfire devastation and discussing his administration’s response, Biden plans to arrive in Long Beach for a 7 p.m. campaign stop with the governor at Long Beach City College.

The president‘s stop in California caps off the closing campaign act for Newsom, who has touted support from several high-profile Democrats in recent weeks, including former President Obama, Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris returned to California to rally voters for the governor.

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Kevin Faulconer has the resume. But can a ‘vanilla’ Republican win the recall race?

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer during a campaign stop in Whittier last month.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

For a guy known for his collegiality, Kevin Faulconer came out swinging at the last California recall debate.

Faulconer said conservative talk radio show host Larry Elder does not have “the character, the judgment, the skill set or the experience to be governor.”

Democrat Kevin Paffrath, a 29-year-old YouTuber who has never held elected office, would need “on-the-job training,” Faulconer said.

The former mayor of San Diego also fired a broadside at the rest of the candidates, as well as Gov. Gavin Newsom, telling voters: “We don’t want to replace one dysfunctional governor with another.”

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From L.A. Times Studios: L.A. Times political reporters explain long, crazy road to California’s recall

L.A. Times columnists and reporters talk about covering the 2021 recall election, from the origins of the effort to the implications of the result, and the “only in California” moments from the campaign trail.

L.A. Times columnists and reporters talk about covering the 2021 California recall election


Will your write-in vote count? Maybe not

Mail-in ballots for California’s gubernatorial recall election are going out now, and notably absent from the roster of candidates to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom are any prominent Democrats. That’s because Newsom urged his fellow Democrats not to enter the race, arguing that doing so would lend legitimacy to the recall drive.

As a result, some Democratic and left-leaning independent voters are thinking about writing in the name of an experienced politician with like-minded views just in case Newsom is recalled Tuesday. They can certainly do so, but they’ll probably be wasting their vote.

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Biden will visit Long Beach tonight: Expect road closures and delays

President Biden is expected to arrive in Long Beach on Monday evening to campaign for Gov. Gavin Newsom ahead of this week’s recall election. City officials are advising residents to prepare for road closures and delays from 9 a.m. Monday to 12 p.m. Tuesday.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Biden is expected to arrive at Long Beach Airport on Monday evening and will take part in a campaign rally at Long Beach City College at 7 p.m.
  • The city did not list specific road closures, but advised visitors to use 3rd Street or 7th Street to access the downtown area, officials said. Workers are being urged to telecommute if possible.
  • Buildings and parking lots on the north side of the Long Beach City College Liberal Arts Campus will close at noon Monday, the college said. Faculty Avenue also will close at that time, with additional street closures in and around campus possible.

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Watch: Election advice from the 2003 recall’s fringe candidates

Jack Grisham is a writer and musician, best known as the vocalist for the L.A. punk band TSOL. Gary Leonard is a local photojournalist. In 2003, they ran for California governor in the election to recall Gray Davis. Both failed miserably. Now, on the eve of the 2021 gubernatorial recall election, they impart political wisdom regarding some of the current candidates.


Track the millions funding the campaign to recall California’s governor

Tens of millions of dollars have been raised on both sides in the race to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Newsom backers opposing the recall have assembled the largest haul, thanks to fundraising accounts that allow donors to contribute unlimited amounts of cash. Similar committees in favor of the recall have also taken in millions, without backing a particular candidate.

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Everything you need to know about Larry Elder

Larry Elder
Larry Elder greets supporters in Woodland Hills in August.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Conservative talk show host Larry Elder has emerged as the Republican front-runner in the race to replace Gavin Newsom if California voters recall the governor.

Elder has been a fixture on conservative media for decades, appearing on KABC radio and, more recently, Fox News.

He grew up in South Los Angeles, a challenging childhood he has recounted in books. A graduate of Brown University and the University of Michigan Law School, Elder loves to debate issues. But his extreme views and what critics say is an embrace of misinformation have made him a highly controversial candidate, and he’s come under attack by Democrats as well as some Republicans.

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Newsom slams GOP, while Elder targets governor’s wife as recall campaign closes

With two days to go before California’s recall election closes, Gov. Gavin Newsom and lead Republican candidate Larry Elder spent Sunday making their final push to voters in Los Angeles.

The governor spoke to a couple of hundred people in Sun Valley — hoping to shore up support with the region’s large Latino population — while Elder held a news conference in Brentwood.

Elder held a news conference Sunday afternoon in Brentwood with feminist, writer and former actress Rose McGowan. In recent days, McGowan had claimed that Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, asked her to cooperate with Harvey Weinstein’s attorney at a time when McGowan was considering coming forward with sexual misconduct allegations against the Hollywood mogul.

“What is being alleged is a complete fabrication,” a spokesperson for Siebel Newsom said in a statement.

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Biden heads west to campaign for Newsom

President Biden is embarking on a three-state western swing on Monday that will include two stops in California, where he will assess wildfire damage in Sacramento and rally support for Gov. Gavin Newsom in Long Beach a day ahead of the state’s recall election.

The campaign event for Newsom, the administration has admitted, is the primary reason for the trip. Asked last week why Biden was going to rally with the governor, Press Secretary Jen Psaki deadpanned: “Because the election is Tuesday.”

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How Gavin Newsom went from landslide victory to fighting for his political survival

Governor Gavin Newsom
Then-Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom speaks at an inauguration event in Sacramento in January 2019.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

In the giddy early hours of his landslide victory, California’s governor-elect struck a tone that signaled the grandiosity of his ambitions. “The sun is rising in the west, and the arc of history is bending in our direction,” Gavin Newsom told jubilant supporters on election night in November 2018.

There was some basis for a progressive Democrat’s fizzy confidence. Newsom had trounced his Republican rival with 62% of the vote. He would enter office with a massive budget surplus in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly 2 to 1, with supermajorities in both legislative houses.

He had survived a sex scandal as mayor of San Francisco, served eight years in the unglamorous job of lieutenant governor, and weathered claims that he was too ambitious, too slickly handsome, and too patrician-seeming — a supposed son of privilege whose bid for power was greased by his father’s big-money connections.

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How does the recall work?

For weeks, legal scholars have debated whether the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom could be found unconstitutional if Newsom failed to realize a “no recall” majority of the ballots cast and was ousted by a candidate who received fewer votes than he did.

Although it’s impossible to predict how courts will rule, many experts say the current recall process has long survived legal challenges, and probably would again, even if a fringe candidate won on Sept. 14 and became governor with a minority of overall votes.

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Editorial: Los Angeles Times recommendation — No on Newsom recall, Faulconer on Question 2

Ballots for the Sept. 14 special recall election have been mailed to 22 million California voters. The ballot poses two questions. The first is whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should be removed from office.

The correct response is a strong, unequivocal no.

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Drop off or in person? Where to vote in the recall election

A woman drops off her ballot at a drop box in Pasadena
The ballot drop boxes Californians got used to seeing for the 2020 election are back for the Sept. 14 gubernatorial vote. Here, a woman drops off her ballot near the Rose Bowl in October.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

If you decide to vote in person, be sure to check the hours and locations of early-voting and election day vote centers. Because this election is not a regularly scheduled one, some counties have limited in-person voting centers and shortened early voting hours. On election day, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. If you are in line at 8 p.m., don’t leave — you are still allowed to vote.

To drop off your ballot, take it to a drop box in your county.

You can track your ballot’s status online once you drop it off or mail it in.

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Meet the 46 recall candidates challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom

The first question California voters face in the Sept. 14 recall election is simple: Remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office or retain him? The second question is where voters face a more complicated decision: Whom to select, if anyone, from the 46 people on the ballot vying for the chance to become governor if the recall succeeds?

Realistically, only a few of the candidates have a chance to finish first in this race. But all have secured the necessary signatures and paid a filing fee to appear on the ballot, whatever their motivation. They represent a mix of ideologies and political ties: Mostly Republicans, but a few Democrats, those who indicate no party preference and some affiliated with lesser-known parties.

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