Larry Elder, former California gubernatorial candidate and radio talk show host, is jumping into the race for the White House, joining an expanding field of contenders taking on former President Donald Trump in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Thursday, Elder announced his candidacy for president during an appearance on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“America is in decline, but this decline is not inevitable. We can enter a new American Golden Age, but we must choose a leader who can bring us there. That’s why I’m running for President,” wrote Elder in an accompanying statement.
Elder is a popular nationally syndicated radio host and longtime conservative commentator. He easily topped the field of possible replacement candidates in California’s September 2021 gubernatorial recall election, which Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom survived.
In Newsom’s recent bid for reelection last year, Elder passed on taking on Newsom.
The author and former attorney had flirted with a run for the White House for months, saying several times that he was “very likely going to run for president” and mentioning a possible spring announcement.
Elder highlighted a handful of recent trips to New Hampshire and Iowa, the two states that lead off the Republican presidential nominating calendar, to meet with conservative activists and leaders in the early voting states and huddle with donors.
The conservative radio host, who is Black, said he believes that in the 2024 election, the top issues are energy, border security, and inflation. However, he’s also emphasized he wants to highlight the struggle of children in the U.S. being born to unmarried parents and to target what he says is “this lie about systemic racism.”
Jaime Harrison, Democratic National Committee chair, said in a statement that “when Larry Elder isn’t busy cozying up to Donald Trump or parroting conspiracy theories, he’s laying out an extreme agenda that doubles down on abortion bans. Elder is so extreme he even suggested abolishing Medicare entirely.”
Elder joins rapidly widening GOP field
Elder joins a widening 2024 field that includes former President Donald Trump, who announced his third bid for the White House in November and remained solidly the front-runner in the latest Republican presidential nomination polls.
Former two-term South Carolina Governor and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley launched her bid for the presidency in February, as did Vivek Ramaswamy, multi-millionaire entrepreneur, conservative commentator, and best-selling author.
Two-term GOP Governor Ron DeSantis remains on the sidelines for 2024 but is expected to enter the race after the conclusion of the Florida legislative session next month. Former President Mike Pence has said he will announce his 2024 plans in the coming weeks.
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott also recently launched a presidential exploratory committee. Former two-term Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas is also scheduled to officially declare his presidential candidacy in his home state next week.
Simultaneously, former two-term Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu are, among others, seriously considering bids for the White House.