Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, who sought to replace the California governor in a failed 2021 recall effort, announced Thursday he is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Elder, 70, made the announcement on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and followed up with a tweet.
“America is in decline, but this decline is not inevitable. We can enter a new American Golden Age, but we must choose a leader who can bring us there. That’s why I’m running for President,” he wrote.
The long-shot candidate joins a Republican field that includes former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has said he plans to seek reelection.
Elder made his first bid for public office in 2021, when he received the most votes out of 46 people who were hoping to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall effort. But a majority of voters ended up voting against removing Newsom, making the vote count in the replacement contest irrelevant.
Some Democrats say Elder’s role as a foil to Newsom helped the Democratic governor inspire voters in liberal California to turn out and reject the recall. Newsom attacked Elder for his support of Trump and his conservative positions, such as opposing abortion rights and restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as mask mandates.
But Elder said the experience of running for office — and the millions of votes he received — showed he had a message that resonated with voters. A lawyer who grew up in Los Angeles’ rough South Central neighborhood, Elder attended an Ivy League college and then law school. He has a following among conservatives through his radio programs and has been a frequent guest on Fox News and other right-wing media.
Elder, who is Black, has criticized Democrats’ “woke” agenda, Black Lives Matter and the notion of systemic racism, positions that have put him at odds with many other Black people.
During the recall campaign, a former fiancée said Elder showed her a gun during a 2015 argument. Elder denied the allegations.