Democratic California governor Gavin Newsom, who could be ousted from his post in a recall election scheduled for September 14, blasted talk-radio host and Republican front-runner Larry Elder as a fringe candidate more right-wing than former President Donald Trump.
Newsom warned of the political destruction Elder could inflict on the Democrats’ policy priorities at the state and federal level with gubernatorial authority.
“He’s to the right of Donald Trump. To the right of Donald Trump. That’s what’s at stake in this election and don’t think for a second you can’t do damage in that role. Think about the judges he could appoint. Who would he have appointed to replace Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate? How would that impact the trajectory of this country. What would this mean for the future of the Democratic party in our efforts to keep the House of Representatives?” Newsom said Friday in San Francisco.
The sitting governor has urged Democratic citizens to selectively complete the recall ballot, which will be distributed next week, leaving blank the section asking voters to select Newsom’s replacement. Forty six GOP contenders, with Elder as the polling favorite, are challenging Newsom for his position.
“Just vote no. You don’t even have to touch the other part. The other part is irrelevant. Don’t even touch it. Simple no. This is about the easiest ballot you ever had to fill out. Just vote no. No on the recall,” Newsom added.
A recent poll from SurveyUSA found that 51 percent of likely voters, meaning those who plan to participate in the recall election, would vote “Yes” to remove the incumbent governor, while 40 percent who vote “No” to retain Newsom.
Democrat Kevin Paffrath, a YouTuber and real estate broker, currently outpaces Elder as a replacement candidate with 27 percent of vote. Elder has garnered 23 percent of the replacement vote but enjoys the most support from Republican voters out of the other 45 options.
Elder has repeatedly slammed Newsom’s mismanagement of the pandemic, namely his prolonged lockdowns and severe COVID restrictions that strangled businesses, Californians, and their livelihoods. Elder promised to invalidate any vaccine or mask mandates in the state of California if elected.
“This man that I’m going to defeat on September 14, he shut down the state in the most severe way than any of the other 49 governors have,” Elder said during a speech at a San Jose church, Fox News reported. “When I get elected, assuming there are still facemask mandates and vaccine mandates, they will be repealed right away and then I’ll break for breakfast.”
“I know how difficult it is to run a business,” he continued. “Many of them never succeed. Those who do succeed, often run on very thin profit margins, often from payroll to payroll. A third of all small businesses in California are now gone forever because [Newsom] ignored science.”