Harris, a former senator from California who served as San Francisco’s district attorney when Newsom was the city’s mayor, had planned to campaign for the governor, a fellow Democrat, on Friday on her way back from a trip to Asia, but will instead return to Washington, her spokesperson said.
Newsom is facing a recall election on Sept. 14 to decide whether he will stay in office or be replaced by another candidate, with conservative talk radio host Larry Elder leading a sprawling field of potential replacements in recent polls.
The race has grown tighter than expected as polls show a dead heat among likely voters, with many Democrats in the state apparently unaware or uninterested in the election.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that President Joe Biden plans to campaign for Newsom as well, but that was before two explosions killed a dozen U.S. service members Thursday at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, during evacuation efforts.
Alex Seitz-Wald is senior digital politics reporter for NBC News.