Larry Elder’s campaign to replace Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom in the recall election set for September 14 got a boost on Wednesday.
Elder picked up the endorsement of former Democratic majority leader of the California state Senate Gloria Romero. She served in that role from 2001 through 2008, when she left to serve on the Education Committee.
In a video she released on Wednesday, Romero cited her support of Elder’s position on school choice as the basis for her endorsement. Romero is an education reform activist and said in her statement that California public schools “need a big change.”
She said that she believes in charter schools and school choice, as does Larry Elder. Romero was critical of Newsom’s hypocritical position on school choice, saying that the governor “shut our public schools” while his children attended private schools.
Romero said that while she remains a Democrat, the recall is not about the party but is about the failings of Newsom.
Elder is currently leading all Republicans in polling as Newsom’s potential replacement. While California remains a heavily Democrat state, the particular rules of a recall election present a significant chance for a Republican to win the election to complete Newsom’s current term as governor.
Because the first part of the recall ballot asks if Newsom should be recalled and the flagging support Newsom has among his party supporters, the turnout for the election could tilt in favor of a motivated minority Republican base.
Newsom has taken significant Democratic criticism over handling the COVID-19 pandemic and his management of crime and public education during that crisis.
If a majority of voters answer in the first part of the ballot that Newsom should recall, then the potential replacement candidate receiving the most votes in the second part of the ballot would be elected governor until the next general election, set for the fall of 2022.
Under rules first adopted for the 2020 election, California has already mailed a ballot to every active registered voter in the state. These ballots can be completed and sent back with a postmarked-by deadline of September 14 and a received-by deadline of September 21.