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Democrats Defend Orange County Senator Facing Recall Effort

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, at the Capitol, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif.

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Democratic leaders in California are trying to defend freshman state Senator Josh Newman from a recall effort.

That’s after Newman provided a key vote to pass a gas tax increase.

Governor Jerry Brown took the unusual step of holding a fundraiser specifically for the Fullerton Democrat. And the state Democratic party gave Newman a mainstage speaking slot at its convention to appeal for support.

"This is about taking back something called 'their seat,'" Newman told the crowd. "I’m from Orange County, it’s been Republican forever. My Republican friends think that’s 'their seat.'"

Newman argued the recall is a cynical attempt by Republicans to block the two-thirds majority Democrats won this past election. GOP political strategist Mike Madrid counters that Newman voted against his constituents’ will.

"That makes it an easier target, there’s no question about it," Madrid said, "but it’s absolutely a referendum on this type of an issue in that type of a district."

Backers of the recall must collect almost 64,000 signatures by mid-October to bring the issue to a vote.

Ben Bradford

State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covers California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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