Dems try to combat voter apathy in upcoming recall election as GOP ramps up campaign events

California's gubernatorial recall election set for next month heated up Thursday.

There were two Bay Area campaign events in support of the recall. And at one event, opponents showed up to protest.

The event in the South Bay attracted a large turnout. Recall supporters got a chance to meet a candidate hoping to replace Governor Gavin Newsom.

"I have a spiritual, moral and patriotic duty to do this," conservative talk show host Larry Elder said to a full house at the Calvary Chapel in San Jose Thursday afternoon. .

The event was held at the same church where leaders repeatedly defied a county health order barring indoor gatherings.

"I know how difficult it is to run a business," Elder blamed Newsom's policies for many businesses shutting down and spoke about why he's running to replace Newsom.  

"We have drought. We have a water supply that's too short. We have forest mismanagement and we have kids who've been denied a whole year of education. Those are my priorities," Elder said.

In San Francisco, recall opponents quietly protested Rescue California's support for the recall.

Rescue California says the governor has failed in areas including crime prevention, homelessness, and the high cost of living.

"We need to recall this guy because he has no limits on the things that he's doing that making this  probably one of the worst states to live in," said Anne Hyde Dunsmore, campaign manager for Rescue California.

"Yes, we need to address crime but we can't do that without social services to address what drives people to homelessness and crime," says Susan Solomon, a recall opponent who showed up to protest Rescue California.

"I'm a lifelong Democrat," said Mark Klaas who is known for his advocacy work for crime victims after the kidnapping and killing of his daughter Polly in 1993.

He supports the recall.

He says Newsom is responsible for making 76,000 inmates, including violent offenders, eligible for release.

"How do you bring that together with public safety? How does that make anybody better or safer?" said Klaas.  

"We should re-examine our recall process," said Nancy Tung with the San Francisco Democratic County Committee.

She said Newsom's supporters are working to counter voter apathy and that turnout is key to him  beating the recall effort.

"The Democratic party in San Francisco is hosting phone banks every weekend to try to engage people,  engage voters," said Tung.

On Friday, Governor Newsom will kick off a statewide tour to rally Californians to vote no on the recall. The campaign starts in San Francisco.