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More Meg Whitman backers push Steve Poizner to quit governor's race

As backers of Jerry Brown gear up their efforts to take on Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, more of Whitman's backers are urging Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner to fold his gubernatorial campaign in the name of "unity."

An e-mail released this morning from three state lawmakers who were backing Whitman said the time had come for Poizner to step aside.

"Democrats have made it clear they will do whatever it takes to help the faltering campaign of Steve Poizner, but we cannot let that happen," said the e-mail, signed by Assembly members Jim Nielsen (R-Yuba City), Connie Conway (R-Tulare) and Sen. Mark Wyland (R-Escondido). "It's time for Steve to do the right thing, step aside and join us in supporting Meg Whitman so we can stop Jerry Brown in November and end business as usual in Sacramento."

The e-mail was met with an angry response from Poizner's campaign.

"I've read about dictators who try to stop free elections, but I never thought I'd see someone try that strategy in California," said Poizner spokesman Jarrod Agen. "Steve Poizner favors old-fashioned American traditions, like freedom of the press and the right to vote, so we're going to go ahead and have an election where the voters get to choose their nominee.

"Meg Whitman does not want to be judged against Steve Poizner," Agen said, "because Whitman’s opposition to across-the-board tax cuts and her support for public funding of abortions is anti-Republican."

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

 
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