Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi warned Democrats Thursday not to vote in the likely California gubernatorial recall election and joined Governor Gavin Newsom’s call for party unity.
“I think it’s an unnecessary idea,” Pelosi said at a press conference. “I don’t think it even goes up to the level of an idea.”
Pelosi’s comments reinforce Newsom’s early efforts to prevent other Democrats from initiating a recall that will certainly be ahead of voters later this year. The governor’s team has acted aggressively to suppress intra-party conflicts. Tossing her considerable political clout behind Newsom, Pelosi suggested that the National Democrats would continue to mobilize support and predicted that he would prevail.
“I think the governor will beat this very critically and we will all help him,” said Pelosi.
The gubernatorial recall would ask voters two questions: whether Newsom should be recalled and who should replace him. If Newsom gets a majority on the first question, the backup candidates menu becomes controversial. However, if voters remember Newsom and there are no fallback Democrats, a Republican could claim the governor’s office with multiple votes.
That possibility has divided the California Democrats. Some believe the party must have a backup candidate in case Newsom fails to prevail. However, the governor and his team took the opposite approach, believing that the emergence of another Democrat would undermine the party’s unity and undermine Newsom’s political standing.
The speaker on Thursday also reinforced Newsom’s counter-argument that the recall is being driven by extremists and pro-Trump partisans, and she predicted Newsom would both defeat the recall and win a second term in 2022.
“I think we will defeat the initiative not because of who started it, the Trumpites, but because of the governor’s leadership,” she said.
The recall spokesman, Randy Economy, replied in an email that Pelosi “needs to stay on her trail,” noting that more than two million Californians had signed recall requests.
“The San Francisco political elite like to protect themselves and have no respect for the people of California during this historic recall,” said Economy.