Larry Elder, an American libertarian talk radio presenter, is running for governor of California in a recall election to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

After witnessing California’s out-of-control homeless crisis, soaring crime rates, looming water and power shortages, and whiplash coronavirus lockdowns, Elder decided to run for office for the first time.

“I’m running for governor because the decline of California isn’t the fault of its people,” Elder said in a statement. “Our government is what’s ruining the Golden State. Our schools are closed to both students and their parents. Our streets aren’t safe from rising violent crime or the disaster of rising homelessness. And the scandals of Sacramento aren’t going to stop on their own. It’s time to tell the truth. We’ve got a state to save.”

“I have common sense. I have good judgment. I’m born and raised here. I think I understand the state,” he added.

Elder is referred to as the sage from South Central on his campaign website, and also stands out as a Black man in Republican Party.

The 69-year-old lawyer said he was first hesitant to run for office in a state where Democrats control an overwhelming majority in Sacramento. Dennis Prager, a fellow conservative radio presenter, was one of his fans who encouraged him to run.

According to Elder, his name recognition, outsider status, and communication skills set him apart from the throng.

“I think this is a race between Gavin Newsom and me. I don’t think about the other candidates.” 

He noted that his participation in the race contradicts the Newsom campaign’s claim that the recall effort is being headed by “Trump white nationalists.”

“Do I look like a white nationalist?” Elder asked.

To replace Newsom, there are approximately 60 individuals running, reported Fox News.

Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, who is running as a Republican, is one among many candidates who have entered the race. Several operatives on Jenner’s team worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman and 2018 GOP gubernatorial hopeful John Cox, and former Rep. Doug Ose are all well-known Republican candidates.

Voters will be asked two questions in the recall election on Sept. 14: Should Newsom be removed from office? After then, who should be chosen from a list of registered replacement candidates to take his place? 

However, the second vote is only counted if a majority of people vote yes on the first question, and Republicans hope Elder’s presence in the race will help boost support for the first issue, reported NY Post.

With dozens of contenders predicted, a winner might emerge with as little as 20% or 30% of the vote.

According to the California Secretary of State’s office, there have been 54 previous attempts to recall governors. Only one was successful: Governor Gray Davis’ recall in 2003. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former bodybuilder and actor, was chosen to take his place.