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Tipsheet

Salem Radio Host Larry Elder Announces He's Taking on Gavin Newsom in Recall Election

Salem radio host Larry Elder announced Monday he is entering the recall election in California to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"I’m running for governor because the decline of California isn’t the fault of its people," he said in a press release. "Our government is what’s ruining the Golden State. Our schools are closed to both students and their parents. Our streets aren’t safe from rising violent crime or the disaster of rising homelessness. And the scandals of Sacramento aren’t going to stop on their own. It’s time to tell the truth. We’ve got a state to save."

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Elder is under no illusions about the power Democrats hold in the state and the challenge before him, but fellow Salem radio host Dennis Prager and many others encouraged him to throw his hat into the ring. 

Elder’s entry into the race immediately reorders a large GOP field that includes former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; businessman John Cox, who was defeated by Newsom in 2018; state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley; reality TV personality and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner; and former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose. He also brings more celebrity sparkle to a race that has lacked a clear front-runner.

“I think this is a race between Gavin Newsom and me. I don’t think about the other candidates,” Elder said, arguing that his name recognition, outsider status and communication skills separate him from the crowd. […]

In a recall election, voters will be asked two questions: First, should Newsom be removed? And then, 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 on the first question.

Candidates have until July 16 to file papers to declare their candidacy. With dozens of candidates expected, it’s possible that a winner could top the field with as little as 20% or 30% of the vote. Republicans believe Elder’s presence in the race will help drive up support for the critical first question on the ballot. (AP)

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Some of the top issues Elder sees ruining the Golden State include the homeless crisis, coronavirus lockdowns, crime rates, and water and power shortages. 

“I have common sense. I have good judgment. I’m born and raised here. I think I understand the state,” he told AP. “I know it’s a long shot,” he continued, pointing to Newsom’s fundraising ability. 

But there was a “fire in the belly to see if I can do something ... to move the needle in the right direction.”

California's recall election will take place Sept. 14. Candidates have until July 16 to file paperwork declaring their candidacy.

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