CA Governor is Not Receiving a Warm Welcome From All Red State Democrats

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While California Governor Gavin Newsom has begun his travels across the country with the purpose of taking on conservatives and supporting Democrats in ‘red states,’ many are not welcoming his advice. According to Politico, red state Democrats have welcomed Newsom’s money, but are rejecting his offer to give advice on handling matters in states that lean conservative for a myriad of reasons. 

Democrats in Texas and Florida have said that any resources Newsom could provide for them to maintain their ground and win races in the state is welcome, but anything more than that is not. In Florida, State Party Chair Nikki Fried, said that she would “welcome extra resources ‘to highlight the failures of Ron DeSantis,’” but noted that “there are limits.” Fried recommended that Newsom does not try to compare California and Florida, noting that Florida Democrats are not too impressed with the state of California in comparison to their own. 


On the other hand, others claim that reaching out like this is what more Democratic governors should be doing. David Pepper, a former chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, said “everyone needs to be doing this,” arguing that “we’ve seen the consequence when only one side is engaging in these states — it’s a disaster.” 

Chris Jones, a Democrat who challenged Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders last year said that he often feels “overlooked” by the Democratic party. Jones said Newsom’s visit, and the thousands of dollars he dropped into his campaign last year, is a promising sign that Democrats who have been successful at the ballot box are looking beyond their state’s borders to help others be successful in their elections too. 


Still, red-state Democrats appear to differ from Newsom on his messaging while he degrades leaders of red states including Governor Greg Abbott in Texas and Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida. Matt Angle, who directs the Lone Star Project, a Texas committee devoted to defeating Republicans, said that Democrats in red states do not need any “turn Texas blue” pep rallies, rather they need to see the difference between “mainstream Democrats and irresponsible, extreme Republicans.” Angle explained that Texans especially do not like anyone coming in acting like they are better than them and know more than them.

One anonymous advisor to Newsom shared that the governor knows that his cash is the most welcome part of his visit, but he wants the spotlight that comes from showing up. While Newsom has not announced a presidential run for 2024, many have speculated that he is preparing to do so if Biden does not run for reelection, or possibly in the future. Still, whether Newsom is welcomed by Democrats in red states or not, his success winning elections in California while driving the state into the ground is giving him the confidence to go to these states with the purpose of expanding the influence of the Democratic party. 

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