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Larry Elder Says He's Being Kept Off the Recall Ballot

Talk show host, who isn't on California's list of candidates, blames 'shenanigans'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2021 6:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – The official list of who's running in California's recall election of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom remained unsettled Sunday, with conservative talk radio host Larry Elder maintaining he should be included but state officials saying he submitted incomplete tax returns, a requirement to run. Elder's next step is to go to court to get on the ballot for the Sept. 14 election, the AP reports, which he tweeted late Sunday he may do. Candidates are required to submit tax returns for the five most recent taxable years and pay a nearly $4,200 filing fee or submit 7,000 signatures. A letter to Elder shared late Sunday by the secretary of state's office does not detail what tax information he did not include. Several other candidates have not yet filed their 2020 tax returns, so they only submitted four years' worth of returns. "Politicians know I'm the only candidate who will beat Gavin Newsom—and that's why they don't want me on the ballot," Elder wrote on Twitter. "They're using shenanigans that they invented to block to doors to the Governor's Office and make sure they stay in power."

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When Elder announced his candidacy July 12, he instantly became one of the most recognizable Republicans in the field, given his years on talk radio and appearances on Fox News. Though Elder is likely to excite many voters, most Republicans are unlikely to stay home if he's not on the list, said Jack Pitney, a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College. "I think Republicans are going to show up because they hate Newsom, not because they are particular fans of any of the replacement candidates," Pitney said. Among other candidates, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's campaign was in a dispute with state officials over whether he could be listed as the city's "retired" mayor. YouTube creator Kevin Paffrath said he planned to sue to get his YouTube nickname on the ballot and be listed as Kevin "Meet Kevin" Paffrath. The list of 41 candidates released by the state includes 21 Republicans, eight Democrats, one Libertarian, nine independents, and two Green Party members.

(Read more recall election stories.)

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