Interview: Elder returns to California still unsure about his political future


(KGET) — Former recall candidate Larry Elder talked to 17’s Sacramento bureau reporter Ashley Zavala about his plans for the future as California heads into another election year. 

Elder recently returned to California after vacationing in Florida following the failed gubernatorial recall effort. 

“It felt good. It was a really intense eight weeks. I had never worked so hard in my life,” Elder said. “When I got there, I was so pleased that so many people had been following the race. When I got there, I talked to people from Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Maine.”

Before his vacation, Elder was unsure if he would run again for the governorship. Now, he is back and still unsure. 

“I go back and forth. Again, the question is would a rematch make any difference? If I had a year to prepare, would I raise more money? We got outspent 10 to 1,” Elder said.

“I think the voters in California are conditioned to dislike Republicans and Trump so much it overrode their concern about crime, overrode their concern about homelessness. I think yelling ‘Republican take over’ and yelling the ‘T-word’ — Trump — clouded their ability to look at these issues. Now, if I had a rematch, would it be different? I’m not sure,” he continued.

He said he hopes the Republican Party moving forward can find a way to be united in the next election, which he said was not the case in the recall. 

“What I feared is that we would end up sniping at each other, and ultimately, as the campaign dragged on, that’s what happened,” Elder said. “I said not one negative thing about any of my Republican rivals. Unfortunately, the reverse was not the case. I think had we spent more time talking about why Gavin Newsom should be recalled and replaced, maybe the vote would’ve been somewhat different, but I’m not even sure about that.”


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