Poizner belatedly backs Whitman

Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner.
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In a statement released by the Republican Party Monday, State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner endorsed fellow Republican Meg Whitman for governor.

Republicans endorsing each other is hardly news. What’s significant about Poizner’s announcement is its tardiness – three months after he lost to Whitman in the GOP primary.

During the campaign Poizner said Whitman wasn’t conservative enough to lead the party.

In a written statement the California Republican Party released, Poizner mentions Whitman only once. He praises her and U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina as “successful businesswomen” who understand that governments "must live within their means."

Poizner’s backing helps Whitman with conservatives who might otherwise stay home on Election Day. Whitman likely needs a big Republican turnout to beat Democrat Jerry Brown.

But Poizner also took tough stances against illegal immigration. He strongly supported Arizona's law. That could hurt Whitman’s prospects with Latinos.