Larry Elder, the Black, conservative radio talk show host-turned Republican running for political office in California who may or may not have pulled a gun on his ex-fiancee while high on marijuana, now finds himself beset by confirmed allegations that he downplayed his finances when declaring his candidacy.
Elder is campaigning ahead of California’s upcoming special election to determine whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. But Elder’s frontrunner candidacy got shaken up barely a month after he announced he was running when it was reported that his ex-fiancee made several claims about him, including how he allegedly once threatened her with a gun.
Now, it’s being reported that Elder is the subject of an investigation being conducted by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission regarding the candidate’s disclosures (or lack thereof) about finances tied to his income sources.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday that Elder failed to indicate that he owned a business he cited on campaign paperwork as a source of his income. A representative for Elder’s acknowledged the discrepancy to the Times and seemingly dismissed it as something that happens all the time.
“We made a simple mistake and we fixed it as soon as possible,” the rep said. “These investigations are very common in campaign world.”
As a result, other candidates called on Elder to drop out of the race.
Instead, he ditched his campaign manager on Sunday and announced he filled that role with someone else.
But the new reports did little to disrupt support for Elder, who gave a speech in Fresno before a MAGA-fied crowd that erupted into applause when the candidate promised to repeal mandates for vaccine and masks in California if elected.
Elder’s speech came as coronavirus cases were increasing in California.
The high attendance at Elder’s speech on Sunday mirrored the latest polling, conducted by CBS News and YouGov and released last Sunday, which found that he was the leading candidate with 23% of voters’ support.
Three days later, Politico reported that Elder’s former fiancee, Alexandra Datig, claimed he threatened her with a gun after smoking marijuana during an argument between the two back in 2015.
None of the above may be even the slightest bit surprising to people familiar with the same man who once suggested the NBA’s lifetime ban for Donald Sterling — the former team owner whose anti-Black rant exposed him as a card-carrying racist — was “unfair.”
But critics likely see these allegations as part of a larger, consistent pattern from Elder, who famously defended George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin in 2014.
That is to speak nothing about Elder’s comment’s objectifying women when he said “Trump has probably gotten more obese women off the couch, and in the streets, working out, than Michelle Obama did in eight years” — a laughable claim offered without the faintest hint of proof.
Still, Californians are largely split over whether to vote in favor of recalling Newsom, polling from the data-driven Five Thirty-Eight website shows.
While the CBS News/YouGov poll showed Elders was the leading candidate, the larger polling showed that more voters wanted to keep Newsom than not — albeit by the slimmest of fractions — suggesting that Elders’ candidacy may not progress beyond this current hopeful stage.