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Another well-known Democrat stumps for Davis

Edwards: 'Send Republicans a clear message on recall day'

Gov. Gray Davis, right, and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards campaign at a cafe in San Francisco.
Gov. Gray Davis, right, and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards campaign at a cafe in San Francisco.

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(CNN) -- Seventeen days before the scheduled date for an election that could result in his ouster, California Gov. Gray Davis took to the streets of San Francisco to ask potential voters for their support.

He was joined Saturday by Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, a presidential candidate and the fifth well-known Democrat to assist in the campaigning this week.

Former President Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore campaigned on his behalf earlier in the week, as did Sens. John Kerry and Bob Graham, also presidential candidates.

Davis spoke to supporters in the Castro district, known for its large gay population, and promoted a bill he signed Friday night that provides legal recognition to same-sex unions.

"I have long believed that we're all God's children," he said, "and that society benefits if everyone can find comfort and solace in a human relationship that is positive and loving."

He issued familiar refrains from his campaign platform, saying the deficit that gripped the state has been replaced with a surplus for this year and a smaller deficit next year, and blaming President Bush for job losses.

"If you want to recall me because I used to have a deficit, then let's recall every governor -- Republican and Democrat -- who went from surplus to deficit," he said. "And let's recall the president of the United States," whom he said took the country from its greatest-ever surplus to its greatest-ever deficit.

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Edwards added, "The last thing in the world that the people of California need is to spend $70 [million] to $100 million on a recall election that could be used for schools, hospitals, to hire police officers and firemen. What we ought to do is put an end to this -- end this circus, and send Republicans a clear message on recall day."

On Monday, an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on whether to overturn a decision by a three-judge panel that postponed the October 7 recall election until March because some districts would still need to use outdated punch-card voting machines in an October vote.

Saturday activities of some candidates who would replace Davis included:

• Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger helping register voters in Los Angeles

• Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante holding a political rally at a park in El Centro.

• Commentator Arianna Huffington speaking to a group of African-American women at a restaurant in Los Angeles.

• Republican candidate Tom McClintock speaking at a yacht club in Corona Del Mar and at a rally against car taxes in Lemon Grove, near San Diego

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