Larry Elder’s Rise Prompts Look at Direction of Black Conservative Movement in California

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WESTMINSTER, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Republican recall candidate Larry Elder addresses the "Asian Rally for Yes on Recall" at the Asian Garden Mall on September 4, 2021 in Westminster, California. (David McNew via Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom beat the attempt to recall him this week handily, with over 60% of the vote, so far. But the results haven’t seemed to phase failed Republican challenger Larry Elder, who’s proclaimed he’s not leaving California’s political stage. Elder’s rise prompted Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith to ponder if he could usher in a new era of Black conservatism in California, even while he embraces Trump and denies the existence of systemic racism. As we wind down from this week’s recall, we’ll talk to Smith about her latest columns and hear from Black conservative Corrin Rankin, who vice chairs the Central Valley GOP, about what she thinks Elder means for California’s Black Republican voters and hopeful leaders.


Erika D. Smith, columnist, Los Angeles Times

Corrin Rankin, vice chair, Central Valley California GOP; president, Legacy Republican Alliance