Poll after poll shows California Governor Gavin Newsom could face an embarrassing ouster in the upcoming special recall election. The two-question ballot asks voters to decide if they want Newsom gone and who might replace the beleaguered Democratic gadabout.
And that’s where Laurence Allen Elder enters as a Trump-like candidate some conservatives believe can save the state of California. But the charismatic radio talk show host did not ease into the top spot to bask in a tsunami of media attention and positive push from social media users. Instead, much like Trump, he has left in his wake a wave of broken Republican friendships and a Democratic Party panicked to cut the man off at the knees.
The Final Stretch
Elder was raised in liberally controlled South Los Angeles yet emerged as a talented attorney with conservative thought and ideology. He is known to fight like Muhammed Ali, never wavering in his belief in small government and personal responsibility. Some might say he is an extreme ideologue, and most Americans steer clear of weirdo radicals left or right of center. However, in California, folks are worried that Elder, a dynamic pied piper of the airwaves, cannot step into managing a bloated state government, with 213,000 full-time employees and fueled by a $263-billion budget. Conservatives aren’t talking about Elder’s business skills.
Not being one to shy away from challenging issues, Elder once spoke to an Oakland audience, claiming his healthcare ideas – alleviating all government involvement or management — “were way too radical for people to accept.” With a public medical system in California serving 12 million people, that could prove problematic; even the angriest of Democrats on the fence with the current governor will not vote for wholly privatizing healthcare.
Today a staunch critic of affirmative action, Elder attended Brown University in Rhode Island, accepted under the umbrella of raced-based preferences. But he excelled and became one of the best litigators at the Ohio law office Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now known as Squire Patton Boggs). It was there he was invited to sub in as a host on a local radio program. He consulted his now ex-wife about what her views were. According to Elder, the chat went a bit like this:
Elder: “I think of talk radio as stupid, shallow, and glib.”
Dr. Cynthia Elder: “It is. You’d be good at it.”
The marriage did not last. Whether or not one believes talk radio is “stupid, shallow, and glib,” Elder was handed a golden ticket. Will he be gifted with another?
Drench With Kerosene and Throw a Lit Match
Loyalty is a crucial ingredient to a successful political career. Elder has left friends in the wake of disagreement and disappointment over some of the most inconsequential instances. His best friend Will Huhn parted ways with Elder over his strenuous support of then-candidate Donald Trump.
“I cannot thank my best friend, Will Huhn, enough for his love, support, and encouragement,” Elder opined in his 2012 memoir. But by 2016, Huhn had announced, “Larry could not tell the truth.” A 37-year friendship ended in ashes over a political disagreement. Huhn added: “I still love him (as a friend). But it is terribly important that he not have any control over other people.”
And Elder had a brush with a bit of bad press when a longtime girlfriend broke off the relationship and accused Elder of domestic battery. He denied any hint of violence against women, and a cadre of former girlfriends backed him up. Yet, there is a lingering scent of potential trouble.
It appears California conservatives feel anyone would be better than Newsom. Elder could check a lot of boxes with Independents – he is well educated, a man that folks gravitate to, and a black conservative/Libertarian. But is it enough to unseat Newsom? Or will another dark-horse candidate rise to the top? We’ll see in a couple of weeks.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.