Weeks before the recall election, a new poll this week placed Larry Elder at the top of the field of candidates in hopes of replacing Gov. Gavin Newsom. Here are five things to know about the conservative radio host who hopes to become California’s next governor.
1. He is from Los Angeles
Elder, 69, grew up in south-central Los Angeles with a father who served in World War II and ran his own restaurant, a mother who worked for what is now known as the United States Department of Defense (then US Department of War), and two brothers. He studied political science at Brown University in Rhode Island before earning a law degree from the University of Michigan.
2. His followers are known as “Elder-teens” and “Elderberries”
Dubbed “The Sage from South Central,” Elder currently hosts The Larry Elder Show, a syndicated radio show on the Salem Radio Network, where he discusses everything from recall to roaming. After graduating in law, Elder worked for a Cleveland law firm before opening his own practice. In recent decades he has turned to the media, appearing on television, writing books and newspaper columns, producing podcasts, and perhaps best known, hosting radio shows. Elder’s resume lacks at least one thing: political experience.
3. He has very conservative views
In the deep blue of California, some of Elder’s sights lie far outside most residents. But in a recall race with more than 40 candidates, Elder, a registered Republican, will only have to beat the other contenders, not win the majority, to become the next governor. Elder argued that racism is not a serious threat to the upward mobility of black Americans. In his 2000 book The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America, he proposes to eliminate the IRS, end welfare, and get rid of gun regulations.
4. Elder says he would tackle crime, homelessness and more as governor
Elder exhibits his vision – albeit without much detail – for the Golden State on its campaign website, which includes support for police officers, ending â€œearly releaseâ€ programs for prisoners, support for charter schools and increasing the Cost of life.
5. He is not a fan of Newsom’s vaccination mandates or pandemic management
Elder’s Twitter account is peppered with criticism of Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including, recently, his announcement that health workers must get vaccinated or undergo regular testing.
â€œI received the vaccine. If you want the vaccine, you should. If you don’t want it, you shouldn’t get it, and you won’t be forced to do it by the State of California – if I win, â€he recently posted. “End of the story.”
In separate tweets, he lambasted the mask warrants, writing in capital letters: “We have the right not to wear a mask.”