Conservative radio host Larry Elder comes to Norwalk to be in…

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Larry Elder addresses his supporters as he competes for the governor of California in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Larry Elder addresses his supporters as he competes for the governor of California in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
PUBLISHED: July 13, 2021 at 4:12 PM | UPDATED: July 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM


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    Larry Elder visits supporters after competing for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Supporters of Larry Elder attend his announcement that he is running for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Larry Elder visits supporters after competing for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Larry Elder supporters collect signatures after the talk radio celebrity ran for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Betty Chu, of Monterey Park, introduces Larry Elder to supporters as he competes for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/ SCNG )

  • Larry Elder visits supporters after competing for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Supporters of Larry Elder await him to file paperwork in his run for governor in the California recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • A man supports Larry Elder as he runs for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Supporter of Larry Elder listens to him as he competes for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Larry Elder will arrive at Norwalk’s Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 to file the paperwork announcing his candidacy for governor in California’s recall election. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Larry Elder will arrive at Norwalk’s Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 to file the paperwork announcing his candidacy for governor in California’s recall election. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Supporters of Larry Elder gather as they wait for the talk radio celebrity to announce his candidacy for governor in California’s recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/ SCNG)

  • Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez leads a prayer for Larry Elder after the talk radio celebrity ran for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Larry Elder visits supporters after competing for California governor in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Larry Elder addresses his supporters as he competes for the governor of California in the recall election to the Norwalk Registrar of Voters on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder officially ran in California’s September 14 recall election on Tuesday, July 13, bringing a familiar voice from the political right to a confused Republican field in a bid to oust first-term Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. .

The self-proclaimed “South Central sage” showed up Tuesday to sign his paperwork at the Norwalk Los Angeles County Voter Registration Office and found a group of supporters there to cheer him on.

Elder, whose show is nationally syndicated, is a regular on Fox News. In an interview with The Associated Press, the 69-year-old attorney said he was initially reluctant to run for office in a state where Democrats have a skewed grip on power in Sacramento. Among supporters who encouraged him to run: fellow conservative radio host Dennis Prager.

Thank you Norwalk for your support! Signed papers with the LA County Clerk and I’m officially a candidate for governor in the recall election against Gavin Newsom on Sept. 14. We have a state to save! https://t.co/mnvU6rOkTD #voter pic.twitter.com/2VwE267yWA

— Larry Elder (@larryelder) July 13, 2021

Elder said he decided to join his first campaign after witnessing California’s spiraling homeless crisis, rising crime rates, looming water and power shortages and whipping coronavirus lockdowns.

“I have common sense. I have a good judgment. I was born and raised here. I think I understand the state,” he said.

“I know it’s a long shot,” he added, referring to Newsom’s ability to raise unlimited funds. But he said he was driven by a “fire in the belly to see if there’s anything I can do… to move the needle in the right direction.”

Elder stands out as a black man in a national GOP dominated by whites. He said the reality contradicts Newsom’s story that the recall is an “effort led by (former President Donald) Trump white nationalists.”

“Do I look like a white nationalist?” asked elder.

Elder’s entry into the race immediately rearranges a large GOP field with former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer; businessman John Cox, who was defeated by Newsom in 2018; councilor Kevin Kiley; reality TV personality and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner; and former US Representative Doug Ose. He also brings more celebrity to a race that had no clear frontrunner.

“I think this is a race between Gavin Newsom and me. I’m not thinking about the other candidates,” Elder said, arguing that his brand awareness, outsider status, and communication skills set him apart.

Newsom, a first-term Democrat and former mayor of San Francisco, was elected in a landslide in 2018. The recall gained momentum after school and business shutdowns amid the depths of the pandemic that has turned the lives of millions of Californians and boosted popularity van Newsom declined.

The governor’s status also suffered from a multibillion-dollar fraud scandal at the state unemployment agency and the fallout after he was discovered last fall dining out with friends and lobbyists at an exclusive restaurant, while telling residents to stay home for the safety.

Republican candidates have portrayed Newsom as an incompetent fool whose bungled leadership during the pandemic has caused needless financial pain. Democrats have tried to frame the contest as being driven by far-right extremists and supporters of Trump.

More recently, a reopened economy amid declining numbers of coronavirus cases helped Newsom get back on his feet, but large numbers of voters are not paying attention to the race. Democrats are concerned about the possibility of weak turnout on their side.

Elsewhere biography on his radio show’s website calls him “unafraid to take on liberals and the Black Lives Matter movement.” He calls for “return to the fundamental constitutional principles of limited government and maximum personal responsibility.”

During the interview, he said he made his way through an underprivileged high school in a historically black neighborhood to attend Brown University, then law school. When he was bussed to another district of Los Angeles for a semester, he was amazed at the difference in teaching and parental involvement.

When he told his mother about the difference in schools, she cried and said to him, “If your father and I had enough money, we could have put you in a better school, but we couldn’t.” He is an advocate for school choice programs.

In a 2020 column, Elder argued for Trump’s reelection, citing a strong economy and low unemployment rates for black workers. He criticized Trump’s impeachment.

In a statement, Newsom campaign spokesman Dan Newman Elder called “another Trump supporter” competing for part of the former president’s voter base. Elder said he has long supported Republican presidential candidates, but the issue in the recall remains Newsom.

It’s not uncommon in California for residents to ask for recalls, but they rarely get on the ballot — much less succeed. An incumbent governor has only been impeached in the state once, when the unpopular Democrat Gray Davis was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In a recall election, voters will be asked two questions: First, should Newsom be removed? And who should replace him? Voters will choose from a list of registered replacement candidates. However, the second votes only count if a majority votes yes to the first question.

Candidates have until July 16 to submit documents to announce their candidacy. With dozens of candidates expected, it’s possible that a winner with just 20% or 30% of the vote will top the field. Republicans believe Elder’s presence in the race will help boost support for the critical first question on the ballot.

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