How did Larry Elder become a favorite in the California Governors race?
Mr Newsom, whose fate depends on turnout, made a foil of Mr Elder, a “little libertarian” who reliably shakes the governor’s base with claims, for example, that the minimum wage should be zero , the “war on oil” should be ended and racial preferences are destructive.
The recall election in California
“Leading candidate thinks climate change is a hoax, thinks we need more offshore oil drilling, more fracking, doesn’t think a woman has the right to choose, in fact pronounced against Roe v. Wade, doesn’t believe in minimum wage, ”Newsom told supporters.
“Don’t describe me as a crazy-eyed radical,” Mr. Elder said in a recent interview. “I run because of crime, homelessness, the rising cost of living and the outrageous decisions made during Covid that shut down the state.”
To his loyal listeners, Mr. Elder presents himself as the native son of a California that was once simpler and safer than the teeming, disaster-prone nation-state he sees today anchoring the West Coast. Listeners know his father, a former U.S. Navy, saved his janitor salary to open a restaurant in Los Angeles’ Pico-Union neighborhood and buy a house in a neighborhood that has gone from predominantly white to predominantly black residents in less than a decade.
His father was also violently abusive, Mr Elder wrote in 2018, prompting him to leave the house by the time he graduated from Crenshaw High School. Admitted to Brown University on a first affirmative action program, Mr Elder, the second of three sons, stayed away from California for years, moved to the University’s law school from Michigan and became a lawyer and legal recruiter in Ohio.
He was a guest on a Cleveland PBS show when alternate host Dennis Prager, a conservative Los Angeles-based radio host, suggested he return.