Recall candidates campaign in San Diego with 550,000 ballots already cast county-wide

California Governor Recall

SAN DIEGO — Gubernatorial candidates are vying for votes Friday in San Diego as roughly one third of voters have already submitted ballots in the recall election.

Cynthia Paes, the county’s interim Registrar of Voters, said 553,776 ballots have already been returned county-wide ahead of election day on Sept. 14. A total of 1.6 million mail ballots were sent to voters and experts say now it’s all about who submits them.

State figures show Democrats are returning mail-in ballots at more than twice the rate submitted by Republicans, though not every Democrat will vote to retain Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Republican candidates hoping to take the top job in California have been crisscrossing the state taking aim at Newsom and his policies. Former San Diego Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer was in San Diego Friday morning to talk about his plan to tackle the state’s homelessness problem.

“We’re standing in front of state property behind us. This is an unfortunate example of what you see on state property all up and down our state. Freeway underpasses, overpasses with encampments,” Faulconer said.

He said his focus will be on substance abuse and mental health as he looks to help the many men and women living on the streets of California.

“We know the problems that are associated with substance abuse and mental health. To be able to provide that help and support is so critically important, and we have to do it with a sense of urgency and again, on a state-wide level,” Faulconer said, adding he is proud of the work done during his leadership in San Diego.

Also in town Friday, radio talk show host and recall candidate Larry Elder spoke with small business owners in North Park.

“A third of all small businesses are now closed forever because of what Gavin Newsom did,” Elder said “All the hopes, all the dreams of these restaurant owners, closed forever because Gavin Newsom ignored the science and shut down this economy.”

Elder criticized Newsom for “keeping big box stores open,” but “shutting down small stores.”

“Leaving marijuana dispensaries open, liquor stores open, shutting down churches, absolutely outrageous,” he said. “Against science, on again, off again, on again, off again, nobody could keep up with what he was doing.”

The governor kicked off his “Vote No” campaign last month. Newsom held a virtual rally Friday to encourage people to get out and vote in the election.

Early voting is already underway at the registrar’s office, and there are 131 mall ballot drop-off locations in San Diego County if voters don’t want to send their ballots by mail.

All voting locations will be open on Election Day, Sept. 14, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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