Radio talk show host and gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder toured Southern California Monday with a last-minute push in his campaign to replace Gavin Newsom as governor of California.
The Republican candidate, who could become the state’s first Black governor, first stopped in Monterey park, where he highlighted California’s rising crime rate and homelessness crisis as he criticized Newsom and spoke to supporters about why he thinks the state needs new leadership.
Elder then stopped for lunch at Philippe’s in downtown Los Angeles before heading to San Pedro, where he spoke in front of cargo ships waiting off the coast at the Port of L.A., arguing in favor of fewer business regulations. Later Monday evening, Elder will appear at a campaign rally in Costa Mesa.
At each stop, Elder spoke about what he thinks is wrong with California and what he would do to make it better. He urged his supporters not to let up on getting out the vote among fellow Republicans, friends and neighbors in the race’s final 24 hours.
“Make sure you have your friends vote, vote, vote, and try and get 10 more friends to vote and hit every call, make every call, knock on every door, we’re gonna win this thing if we turn out the vote,” Elder said from a hotel ballroom in Costa Mesa.
An exclusive Inside California Politics/ Emerson College poll released Monday found the majority of likely California voters support keeping Gov. Gavin Newsom in office. The poll of 1,000 registered voters found 60% are voting against the recall, but Elder also led all other replacement candidates in the poll by a considerable margin with 30% of the vote.
It’s unclear what will happen after polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, but Elder hasn’t committed to accepting the election results.
When asked in San Pedro Monday if he would accept the results, Elder replied, “Yes, because I’m going to win. I will be very happy with the results.”
Elder, who’s seen as the leading GOP alternative, held a news conference at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles Sunday, joined by activist and former actress Rose McGowan, who repeated her claims from recent days that Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, attempted to persuade her in 2017 not to go public with her allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Siebel Newsom’s office described the allegations as a “complete fabrication.” In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Newsom characterized McGowan’s claims as a “last-minute classic hit piece” from one of Elder’s supporters.
The governor called Elder desperate and grasping, saying McGowan’s claims about his wife “just shows you how low things go in campaigns these days.”
He echoed his earlier criticism of Elder, saying the conservative talk show host and lawyer “doesn’t believe that women have the right to their own reproductive freedoms, he’s devoutly opposed to Roe v. Wade, doesn’t believe there’s a glass ceiling, doesn’t believe in pay equity laws.”
The last-minute exchange highlighted growing tensions in the election, which largely grew out frustration with Newsom’s pandemic orders that shuttered schools and businesses during the pandemic. Voting concludes Tuesday.
Recent polling shows Newsom is likely to hold his job.