The Times podcast: What Larry Elder stands for

Larry Elder
Conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder is running for governor of California.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, faces a once-unthinkable scenario: a recall. Election day is Sept. 14, just a week away. If he loses, his putative replacement would be one of the most conservative governors California has ever seen.


How did California, one of the bluest states, get to the point where a Republican might win the governor’s seat? How did that candidate, radio talk show host Larry Elder, become the top challenger? And what would Elder do if he wins?

Today, we start a two-part series on the California recall election, starting with a focus on Elder: his life, his beliefs and his sudden political rise.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times columnist Erika D. Smith

More reading:

Everything you need to know about Larry Elder

Column: Larry Elder is the Black face of white supremacy. You’ve been warned

Column: Larry Elder says he’s not a face of white supremacy. His fans make it hard to believe

Inside Larry Elder’s base — longtime fans, new converts, evangelicals, Trump fans

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Marina Peña and Melissa Kaplan. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen. Special thanks to Heba Elorbany.