Larry Elder, the leading GOP candidate in California’s recall election, might make history as the first Black governor of California. Elder is currently the front-runner amongst 46 other candidates aiming to replace incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom in the upcoming recall election on September 14.
Early voting has already started for the recall election, wherein Californians will answer two questions: First, they indicate whether or not Newsom should remain in power; second, they will indicate which of the 46 candidates should replace Newsom.
Thus far, California has never had a Black governor.
Currently, Newsom is urging for his supporters to not answer the second question, instead focusing on voting ” no” only on the ballot. However, Newsom’s handling of the COVID pandemic, including his widespread closures of schools and churches, alongside continued mask mandates, has made numerous Californians quite eager for a change in governance.
Per a poll from RealClearPolitics, 48 percent of likely California voters are aim to have Newsom recalled, compared to only 47.5 percent who want Newsom to remain in power. Elder is presently leading a crowded field of potential replacements by 10.8 percentage points.
If Elder is elected, he will immediately suspend COVID vaccine mandates, including Newsom’s current order for all school staff and teachers to receive the vaccine against the virus, alongside the incumbent governor’s continued mask mandates in schools.
Elder has also faced rampant criticism from Newsom, who alleged that Elder would lead California off of a “COVID cliff” if he were to become the state’s governor.
In an interview in the past week, Newsom proclaimed, “just consider the [GOP] candidates running for [governor],” adding that they all “support Trump,” and that they also all “support eliminating vaccine verifications,” as well as “eliminating mask mandates in [California’s] schools.”
Newsom took special aim at Elder during the interview, observing that Elder had vowed to do so on “day one.”
“I have no interest in taking us off the COVID cliff,” Newsom brayed.
Elder has also faced numerous allegations that he has subsequently denied. For instance, Elder’s ex-fiancée claimed that he flashed a gun during an altercation in 2015, though Elder has forcefully denied these accusations. Nevertheless, two other GOP candidates, Caitlyn Jenner and Kevin Faulconer, called for Elder to drop out of the race in light of these accusations.
In addition, Elder has also had to combat racism from the left due to his conservative views. For instance, a recent column in The Los Angeles Times identified Elder as “the Black face of White supremacy.”
Elder, however, has taken the criticism in stride, noting that he “anticipated” such attacks, adding that “[numerous] people don’t go into politics” due to “the politics of personal destruction.”
Elder also added that he has faced other attacks from the Los Angeles Times, observing that another writer at the publication “all but called [him] a Black David Duke.”
“They are scared to death,” Elder commented.