By Shaina Shelton | CNN
Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder announced Thursday that he’s launching a 2024 presidential campaign, joining a growing list of Republicans vying for the GOP nomination.
Elder will speak at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition this weekend. Other 2024 GOP hopefuls are expected to speak as well, including former President Donald Trump, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who recently launched an exploratory committee.
Elder was the top Republican opponent to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, during the unsuccessful recall effort in 2021, which had emerged due to partisan anger over the governor’s pandemic response. Elder opposed most Covid-19 restrictions, minimum wage, cashless bail and defunding the police.
A robust turnout from Democrats in California, who outnumbered Republicans 2-1, allowed Newsom to keep his job. But Elder’s name recognition pushed him to the top of the challenger field in the recall, garnering the most support among GOP voters.
Elder — who had previously said President Joe Biden won in 2020 “fairly and squarely” — has been a supporter of Trump. Taking a page from the former president’s playbook on lies about election fraud, Elder baselessly raised the prospect of “shenanigans” in California before the results were announced in the recall. Still, he acknowledged the defeat of the recall effort on the night of the election.
Elder spent the past few decades in the media industry, writing multiple books and hosting TV shows. He began hosting his radio show, “The Larry Elder Show,” in 1993. Elder also practiced law and went on to start his own legal recruitment firm, Laurence A. Elder & Associates, which he owned for 15 years.
The radio host has faced heavy scrutiny related to his long history of disparaging remarks about women, and he has been accused of domestic violence and of brandishing a gun in 2015 by his then-fiancée and former employee Alexandra Datig. Elder has denied the allegations.
Elder joins a GOP primary field still in its early stages. Trump, who announced his 2024 bid last year, is the leading contender, with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Hutchinson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy also in the mix.
A number of other Republicans, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, have been making moves suggesting they are considering presidential bids.
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