Gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder speaks to supporters at an election night event on September 14, 2021 in Costa Mesa, California

Conservative radio host Larry Elder admitted he lost the California recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom.
At 8:21 p.m. PT, Insider and Decision Desk HQ called the race, projecting that Newsom will remain the governor of California.
Elder told supporters to “stay tuned” as to what he plans to do next.

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Larry Elder, the GOP frontrunner for the California gubernatorial recall election, has conceded defeat in his run to oust incumbent governor Gavin Newsom.

Insider and Decision Desk HQ called the race at 8:21 p.m. PT on Tuesday, projecting Newsom will retain his governorship.

Elder, a conservative radio host, previously suggested without evidence that the recall election might be rigged against him, even setting up a website link before the polls closed for voters to report fraud.

But he made no claims of voter fraud at 10 p.m. local time when he thanked supporters and staff at an in-person event in Costa Mesa, California.

“We recognize that we lost the battle, but we are certainly going to win the war,” said Elder, who went on to speak for about 30 minutes.

He remained upbeat as he spoke to the crowd, saying that even in his defeat, his campaigning has brought to the fore issues that have plagued Californians, including homelessness and education issues.

“We’re forcing them now to pay attention to the things they should have paid attention to two years ago,” Elder said.

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Elder also said his opposition was trying to use race to cause division among voters, and decried the idea of systemic racism in America.

“To the extent that it is humanly possible, we have achieved the dream of Martin Luther King, where people are being evaluated by content of their character, and not color of their skin. Knock it off!” he said.

Elder said he doesn’t claim that racism is nonexistent in America, but said Californians should focus on issues like crime, high cost of living, and income tax instead.

The US is undergoing a racial reckoning, after the murder of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. Officials have declared white supremacy America’s top domestic terror threat. A series of data and research reports collected by Insider shows that Black Americans face racial disparities in employment, wealth, education, home ownership, healthcare, and incarceration.

In his closing remarks, Elder hinted at a future political career. “I have been a politician for all of seven or eight weeks. How am I doing?” he said to cheers.

With regard to his next steps, Elder told the crowd, “What happens after this all of this? As a former radio host, let me just say: Stay tuned!”

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