The conservative talk radio host Larry Elder is now the Republican front-runner challenging Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom in a special election that could also shape national politics. California voters cast ballots on September 14 on whether to recall Newsom, after a right-wing campaign to unseat the governor garnered enough signatures to trigger the vote.
If Newsom fails to get more than 50% support for staying in office, the candidate with the most votes replaces him as governor. “This whole thing started with anti-immigrant nativists in California who were upset about the pro-immigrant, pro-Latino policies that Gavin Newsom was putting in place,” says Los Angeles Times columnist Jean Guerrero.
“[Elder] basically wants to take California back to the 1990s, when we saw an incredibly anti-immigrant and anti-Black decade in California.” Elder was a mentor to Stephen Miller, the xenophobic, anti-immigration former Trump adviser, which Guerrero writes about in her book, Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda.
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