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Larry Elder conceded that Gov. Gavin Newsom won California’s recall election on Tuesday night. The candidate and conservative talk radio show host has suggested in recent weeks that the election would be marred by “shenanigans” (i.e., election fraud), but he made no such claims during a lengthy speech after the race was called.
“As you know, my opponent, Governor Gavin Newsom,” Elder told an adoring crowd, which interrupted him with boos at the mention of the governor’s name.
“Come on,” said Elder. “Let’s be gracious in defeat. And by the way, we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.”
In previous elections, a candidate conceding an election would be a completely mundane detail. However, Elder’s concession is noteworthy because he has taken a page from Donald Trump’s lately. Trump of course, first alleged an election would be rigged against him in 2016. Speaking at a rally less than a month before the election, Trump called the upcoming contest “one big fix,” thus laying the groundwork to excuse a potential defeat at the polls. He won, of course, but infamously repeated the charge in 2020, and to this day maintains he won the election he lost to Joe Biden.
Elder had repeatedly suggested something nefarious had been afoot in the recall election. He made vague allegations about mail-in ballots being part of a plot by Democrats to rig the election in favor of Newsom. The talk show host also refused to commit to accepting the results of the election in the event that Newsom was not recalled.
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