Gavin Newsom's Anti-Recall Rally With Kamala Harris Canceled After Kabul Attack

Vice President Kamala Harris will no longer appear at California Governor Gavin Newsom's anti-recall event Friday, the Democratic governor's campaign confirmed with Newsweek.

News of her change in plans came just hours after an attack outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. The attack, which the Islamic State militant group Khorasan branch took credit for later Thursday, occurred amid ongoing efforts to evacuate Afghans and U.S. citizens still in the country following the Afghanistan government's fall to the Taliban earlier this month.

Twelve U.S. service members were killed in the attack and 15 others were injured, U.S. Department of Defense officials said Thursday. At least 60 Afghans were also killed in the attack, according to the Associated Press.

Harris was expected to stop in California's Bay Area on her way back to Washington, D.C. following her trip to Southeast Asia. Instead, a spokesperson for Harris' office announced Thursday afternoon on Twitter the vice president will return to the nation's capital after a scheduled stop in Hawaii at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Following the @VP’s visit to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam this afternoon, the Vice President will return to Washington D.C.

— SDS (@SymoneSanders46) August 26, 2021

Nathan Click, the communications director advising Newsom ahead of next month's California gubernatorial recall election, confirmed with Newsweek the Friday event has been canceled.

"The Vice President will not join Governor Newsom in California tomorrow," Click said. "Tomorrow's rally is cancelled."

Kamala Harris California recall event
An anti-recall event Vice President Kamala Harris was expected to attend Friday alongside California Governor Gavin Newsom was canceled Thursday following an attack outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Above, Harris arrives for the second leg of her Asia trip at the airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Tuesday. EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Bay Area event was first announced last week. At the time, Newsom said he was "excited" to be joined by Harris, who served as a senator for California and as the state's attorney general before becoming President Joe Biden's running mate during the 2020 presidential election cycle.

Newsom is fighting to remain in office as he faces a recall effort that started in 2020 and qualified for a ballot earlier this year. State election officials began sending out mail-in ballots to all registered California voters earlier this month ahead of the election, which is scheduled to take place on September 14.

Forty-six candidates appear on the recall ballot as possible replacement candidates. If more than 50 percent of voters vote in favor of removing Newsom from office, he will be replaced by the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes.

While the state GOP elected not to endorse a candidate in the recall election, the California Democratic Party has encouraged Democrats to vote against the recall effort and discouraged them from picking amongst the 46 recall candidates, though voters are allowed to pick a replacement candidate regardless of whether they want Newsom removed from office.

Biden has also encouraged Democrats to support Newsom's bid in the recall.

"Gov. @GavinNewsom is leading California through unprecedented crises—he's a key partner in fighting the pandemic and helping build our economy back better," Biden tweeted on August 12. "To keep him on the job, registered voters should vote no on the recall election by 9/14 and keep California moving forward."

Updated 08/26/2021 at 5:50 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information and background.