Conservative talk show host Larry Elder said he wanted to save California. Instead, he saved Gov. Gavin Newsom from being recalled, some political analysts are saying.
But in his concession speech Tuesday night, Elder hinted that his political career is not yet over, telling supporters to “stay tuned” for his future plans. Could his next campaign be about saving America?
Speaking in front of a row of U.S. and California state flags, Elder thanked his supporters and said, “We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.”
The conservative radio talk show host who ran as a Republican criticized former President Barack Obama, saying that he had inflamed race relations in America, and vowed to be a person who moves the country beyond its racial tensions.
“I’m a uniter; we are uniting. ... We are going to bring this country together because we know what the real problems are, and they have nothing whatever to do with racism.”
In the speech, Elder touched on issues that he discussed in a recent interview with the Deseret News, in which he promised to bring commonsense solutions to issues that include crime, homelessness, home prices, wildfires and the water shortage. He’s an advocate for school choice and does not believe that America has a problem with systemic racism.
“Many of the problems we’re talking about, whether it’s crime or homelessness, stem from the breakdown of the family,” he said earlier this month.
Had he won, Elder intended to run for reelection in 2022 and said that a year in office would give him enough time to show Californians that he could improve their quality of life.
But even without that head start, Elder could be on the ticket next year.
In fact, even before the election, he was telling reporters that his contributors were asking him to “stay in the game” regardless of what happened in the recall election. “So in all probability, I will do just that,” he said.
As of midday Wednesday, Elder had yet to post anything on Twitter or Facebook about his future plans, but his fans were sharing their support. “Larry, please run for governor again,” Judy Gruen posted on Elder’s Facebook page. “With more time and more resources, we can help you get your message across.”
Elder’s slogan in the recall election was “We’ve got a state to save,” and he tweeted that hashtag Wednesday, along with vote totals that showed him with 44% of the vote, with 52 % of precincts reporting, significantly higher than his closest competitor, Kevin Paffrath, who had 11%.
But people speculating about Elder’s future plans might want to look at his Facebook page. Its handle is @TakeBackThisCountry.