Conservative radio host Larry Elder, who sought to replace California’s governor in a failed 2021 impeachment bid, announced Thursday that he will run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
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 may enter a new American Golden Age, but we must choose a leader who can get us there. This is why I am running for president,” he wrote.
The unlikely candidate joins a Republican field that includes former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has said that he plans to seek re-election.
Elder made his first run for public office in 2021, when he received the most votes from 46 people hoping to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall effort. But most voters ended up voting against removing Newsom, making the vote count in the replacement race irrelevant.
Some Democrats say Elder’s role as a foil to Newsom helped the Democratic governor inspire voters in liberal California to 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 the gritty South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles, Elder attended an Ivy League university and then law school. He has a following among conservatives through his radio shows and has been a frequent guest on Fox News and other right-wing outlets.
Elder, who is black, has criticized the Democrats’ “woke” agenda, Black Lives Matter and the notion of systemic racism, positions that have pitted him against 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.