Provocative Larry Elder conceded his fight to become California’s next governor, but said his first campaign might not be his last. “Stay tuned,” the Republican radio host told his supporters.
Gov. Gavin Newsom handily beat a historic recall effort, with results Tuesday night showing residents of Golden State opposing the effort to impeach him in greater numbers than some experts had. initially predicted. But his main opponent, the contrarian libertarian talk show host Larry Elder, has suggested he considers the fight far from over.
Tuesday’s incomplete election results had placed Elder far ahead of the 46 candidates who had hoped to replace Newsom if the recall was successful.
Elder told an enthusiastic crowd on Tuesday night that “we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war,” hinting at a possible revenge against Newsom when the governor is re-elected next year.
Elder became the unlikely leader of the Republican race to topple Newsom and could have become the state’s first black governor.
Eder’s more extreme views are not only at odds with those of the majority of state voters, but also with the views of many state 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 moving on to the profession of political expert – creating his own show on KABC in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. 90s.
In three decades on the air, Elder has become well known for his opposing and often extreme views. He opposes minimum wage and gun control. He said he did not believe there was a gender pay gap and called the climate crisis a “pitcher”. He suggested that fatherless families increase crime rates in black communities. He claimed that black leaders exaggerate the discrimination.
His positions against affirmative action and denials of systemic racism met with stiff opposition in the 1990s, with a group of LA residents organizing a two-and-a-half-year boycott of the radio show’s sponsors. Some advertisers let the host down, but it eventually prevailed. His show was syndicated and he began to build up a huge national radio audience, making frequent appearances on Fox News and cultivating his brand of libertarianism.
Elder had entered the recall campaign just days before the filing deadline, but had risen to the top of a long list of candidates running against Newsom.
“He’s been on the radio for 27 years in Los Angeles, talking about tongue-in-cheek and contradictory man-bite-dog politics,” University of San Francisco political scientist James Lance Taylor told The Guardian last month. “And in some ways the only reason he’s able to 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 getting shot. .
During his concession speech on Tuesday, Elder again argued that racial divisions in America were grossly exaggerated.
He referred to the “fake Black Lives Matter movement,” reaffirmed his doubts about systemic racism and said, “We know what the real issues are, and they have nothing to do with racism. “
Appearing to address his detractors, Elder added, “All they want is black people to think about oppression, to be under siege, to be a victim. Truly? In 2021, after having elected the first black president?
Elder urged supporters to be “graceful in defeat,” but spent much of his half-hour speech ridiculing Newsom’s leadership and character and blaming him for the rise in crime, an Uncontrolled homelessness crisis and housing costs beyond the reach of many working class families.
Elder sometimes sounded like a campaign started and didn’t end.
Many of Elder’s views and political platforms are consistent with those of Donald Trump. He supported Trump’s policy of separating migrant families and became a mentor to the architect of the most severe 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 Biden won the election “fairly and squarely,” he began to repeat conspiracy theories about voter fraud. And drawing inspiration from the former president, Elder sowed distrust of the recall electoral system in the final weeks of the race, especially as it appeared to be slipping in the polls. He claimed that “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 “results. twisted ”- a few days before the results were published. announcement.
Elder’s positions prompted Newsom and his Democratic allies to name him as Trump’s successor. Speaking at a rally with Newsom in Long Beach on Monday, Joe Biden had warned that the recall race result could reverberate well outside the Golden State. “Can you imagine him being governor of this state?” Biden asked.
Elder argued on Tuesday that he was working to bridge the gap. “I am a unifier,” he says. “We will bring this country together. “