Larry Elder cleared for California gubernatorial recall ballot after winning lawsuit

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder told Fox News on Wednesday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his Democratic allies are “scared to death” after a judge overturned the state’s bid to block Elder’s name from appearing on the ballot in an upcoming recall election.

State elections officials initially barred Elder, a Republican candidate seeking to replace Newsom, from being on the ballot for allegedly filing incomplete tax information. Elder maintained that he filed all necessary paperwork and accused elections officials of failing to provide a clear reason for his ouster.

Superior Court Judge Laurie M. Earl determined that Elder’s application met state requirements, clearing the way for him to formally enter the race. Elder hailed the judge’s decision, arguing state elections officials challenged his bid because he represents the biggest threat to Newsom’s chances.

“I believe that Larry Elder was targeted by Gavin Newsom in order to keep me off the ballot because I believe I’m the only one that he’s afraid of,” Elder said in an interview with Fox News. “I know a lot of politicians say stuff like that, but in my case, it happens to be true.”

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Elder joins a field of dozens of gubernatorial candidates that includes several prominent Republicans, including former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer and Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner. In total, more than 40 candidates will be on the ballot.

The judge ruled that Weber’s assertion that Elder was subject to a 2019 state law requiring candidates in a “direct primary election” to submit tax returns was inaccurate. The upcoming election is considered a special contest rather than a direct primary.

The California secretary of state’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on the judge’s decision.

A prominent radio host and syndicated columnist, Elder said he would take immediate steps to curtail escalating crime rates, promote school choice, address the rising cost of living and a homelessness crisis in the state.

On crime, Elder said he supports the repeal of Proposition 47, which lowered penalties for drug and theft-related offenses, and that he would urge police to return to what he described as “proactive” law enforcement techniques.

Elder said he believes Newsom displayed a “lack of common sense” in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that will ultimately lead state residents to vote him out of office.

“He ignored science,” Elder said. “The CDC said during the pandemic at some point that kids can go back to school with precautions and he allowed the teachers union, to whom he’s totally beholden, to force him to keep these schools shut down.”

Newsom’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.

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In a separate case, a judge rejected Faulconer’s push to be referred to as “retired San Diego mayor” on the ballot. 

Weber’s office blocked Faulconer’s preferred designation, citing a regulation barring use of the word “retired” except in cases of “voluntary retirement from public office.” Faulconer served as mayor from 2014 until 2020, when he left office due to term limits.

A total of 43 candidates are on the ballot for the recall election, which will take place on Sept. 14.

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