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Larry Elder’s future as a Republican star: politics, television, radio

Larry Elder, the conservative talk show host who became the new California GOP star in the unsuccessful attempt to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, admitted defeat but also made it clear that he would have more to say about his political future. .

Elder closed his concession speech Tuesday night by addressing the 2022 gubernatorial race. “As a former radio host, let me say this: stay tuned,” Elder said.

So where does he go from here?

Message from the elder to funders

Elder urged his supporters to be “graceful in defeat,” with the candidate acknowledging the election results minutes after his speech began on Tuesday night.

In the weeks leading up to the recall, some far-right figures had cast doubt on the integrity of the vote, and Elder’s own campaign set up a “Stop CA Fraud” website where supporters could report a suspicious election activity and sign a petition demanding an investigation into the “twisted results” of the election. But the website was live on Monday – a day before the election ended or the results were released. Before election night, Elder also hadn’t said definitively whether he would accept the results if he lost.

But Elder did not sow the slightest doubt about the results as he conceded on Tuesday night, nor did he question the integrity of the election.

“We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war,” Elder told crowds on election night in Costa Mesa as he took the stage just over two hours after office closed. to vote.

With his girlfriend, Nina Perry, by his side, Elder thanked his campaign staff and supporters, and greeted state politicians in the boisterous crowd – including former Monterey Park Mayor Betty Chu and the former Democratic lawmaker Gloria Romero.

At times Elder’s 36-minute concession speech sounded a lot like his stump speeches, with an emphasis on crime, homelessness, housing, and education, and the candidate repeated many of the same lines on various problems he used during the election campaign.

“We are now forcing them to pay attention to the issue of homelessness,” Elder continued. “We are forcing them to do a better job in schools. We are now forcing them to do a better job of clearing our forests. We are forcing them to do a better job on energy. We are now forcing them to pay attention to the things they should have paid attention to two years ago. “

Attack Obama, tell his story

Elder criticized former President Obama, who appeared in campaign ads urging Californians to reject the recall, at length. Elder said Obama had further divided the country over race. Elder, who is black, presented himself as a foil to Obama, the first black president, in this regard, reiterating his controversial position that systemic racism is not a problem in American life and criticizing the “wrong” Black Lives Matter movement.

He also spent several minutes talking about his parents and his origin story.

“My dad always told my brothers and me hard work wins,” Elder said. “You get what you put into life out of life. You don’t control the outcome, Larry, but you have 100% control over the effort.

“When you consider that we were spent by a factor of five, six, seven to one. I wasn’t just running against Gavin Newsom, I was running against the left-wing media… and we’ve always scared them, ”Elder told supporters, citing leading national Democratic surrogates who had campaigned against him in recent weeks. .

“I’ve been a politician for seven or eight weeks – how am I? Elder asked the hall towards the end of his speech, his supporters exploding in applause. “They’re listening now in a way they’ve never listened to before. They hear us now in a way they’ve never heard us before.

Where Elder could go next

On his election night, many supporters said they hoped Elder would run again in 2022. The Times’ James Rainey spoke to pundits and others about Elder’s future. Some key remarks:


“He is now the leader of the resistance in California, or at least one of the greatest leaders,” said Carl DeMaio, radio host in San Diego and chairman of the Reform California political action committee. “If he wants to represent himself, there is no doubt that he is the [Republican] candidate. There is simply no doubt.

But dominance over a small, conservative “resistance” – dominated by a shrinking minority of older white voters – is not a formula to bring Republicans back to power in California, GOP consultant Mike Madrid said. “You can say that you have remained pure in defeat, but this is just a martyr’s candidacy,” said Madrid. “It appeals to a core group that is the fastest shrinking demographic in the state and across the country.”


If Elder chooses to return to his job as a talk show host, he should find his stature significantly improved, industry analysts have said.

“He will be a big winner in his media career as his profile has grown exponentially from the start,” said Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers, a trade publication for the radio and television talk industry. . “It was a huge victory for him.”


Elder has long told his friends that he covets a national television presence, although he has not publicly said if he still has those ambitions. He has been a guest on Fox News programs 220 times in the past five years, but representatives of the conservative-leaning network have declined to say whether they would consider Elder for a regular paid position.