A defiant Larry Elder acknowledged his fight to become California’s next governor, but indicated that his first campaign may not be his last. “Stay tuned,” the Republican radio host told his supporters.
Governor Gavin Newsom comfortably defeated a historic impeachment effort, and Tuesday night’s results showed that residents of the Golden State oppose the effort to impeach him in greater numbers than some experts initially expected. But his main opponent, opposite libertarian talk show host Larry Elder, suggested he considered the fight to be far from over.
Incomplete election results Tuesday put Elder far ahead of the 46 candidates hoping to replace Newsom if the impeachment was successful.
Elder told a cheering crowd Tuesday night that “we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war,” hinting at a possible rematch against Newsom when the governor faces reelection next year.
Elder emerged as the unlikely leader in the Republican race to overthrow Newsom and could have become the state’s first black governor.
Eder’s more extreme views are not only out of line with those of the majority of state voters, but also with the views of many of the state’s Republicans.
Elder, 69, was born and raised in south central Los Angeles. After graduating from Brown University and the University of Michigan, he practiced law for a decade before transitioning to political scholarship, landing his own program at KABC in Los Angeles in the early 1990s.
In three decades on the air, Elder became known for his conflicting and often extreme views. He opposes minimum wage and gun control. She has said that she does not believe there is a gender pay gap and has called the climate crisis a “trap.” He has suggested that fatherless families increase crime rates in black communities. He has claimed that black leaders exaggerate discrimination.
His stances against affirmative action and denial of systemic racism drew fierce opposition in the 1990s, when a group of Los Angeles residents organized a two-and-a-half-year boycott of the radio show’s sponsors. Some advertisers abandoned the host, but it eventually prevailed. His show was syndicated and he began to build a large national radio audience, making frequent appearances on Fox News and cultivating his libertarian style.
Elder had entered the impeachment campaign just days before the filing deadline, but came close to the top of a long list of candidates competing against Newsom.
“He’s been on the radio for 27 years, in Los Angeles, talking about man and dog politics that are ironic and contradictory,” James Lance Taylor, a political scientist at the University of San Francisco, told The Guardian last month. “And in a way, the only reason he can say so much of what he says is because he’s black … he uses his race as a weapon.”
Earlier this year, Elder blamed Barack Obama for the deaths of George Floyd and other black men, writing that the former president should have encouraged citizens to “better comply with the police” to avoid being shot.
During his concession speech Tuesday, Elder again argued that racial divisions in America are grossly exaggerated.
He referred to the “fake Black Lives Matter movement”, reaffirmed his doubts about systemic racism and said: “We know what the real problems are and they have nothing to do with racism.”
Seeming to address his critics, Elder added: “All they want is for black people to think of oppression, that you are under siege, that you are a victim. Seriously? In 2021, after we elected the first black president? “
Elder urged supporters to be “nice in defeat,” but spent much of his half-hour speech ridiculing Newsom’s leadership and character and blaming him for rising crime, a runaway homeless crisis, and costs. housing that is out of reach for many working-class families.
Elder sounded sometimes like a campaign started, not ended.
Many of Elder’s views and political platforms coincide with those of Donald Trump. It has endorsed Trump’s migrant family separation policy and has become a mentor to the architect of the toughest anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration, Stephen Miller. He has repeatedly asserted that blacks are more prone to crime and violence than other demographic groups, and echoed Trumpian lines that characterized Latino immigrants as criminals.
Although he initially said that Biden had won the election “fairly and directly,” he has begun to repeat conspiracy theories of voter fraud. And following the indications of the former president, Elder sowed distrust in the recall system in the final weeks of the race, especially when it seemed to slip in the polls. He claimed that the “shenanigans” could skew the race results, and his campaign website was linked to a “Stop CA Fraud” site where people could sign a petition demanding a special legislative session to investigate the “twisted results.” , days before the results were published. Announced.
Elder’s positions prompted Newsom and his Democratic allies to choose him as Trump’s successor. Speaking at a rally with Newsom in Long Beach on Monday, Joe Biden had warned that the outcome of the impeachment race could reverberate far beyond the golden state. “Can you imagine him being governor of this state?” Biden asked.
Elder on Tuesday argued that he was working to bridge the gap. “I am a unifier,” he said. “We are going to unite this country.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism