Larry Elder on NBC 7: CA Recall Election Candidate Talks Masks, Vaccines, State Mandates

NBC 7's political reporter Priya Sridhar spoke one-on-one with Larry Elder, a conservative radio talk show host and author, who is one of the 46 candidates running in the Special Election to replace Governor Gavin Newsom

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California is less than two weeks away from Special Election day on Sept. 14 and already 451,000 San Diego County residents have cast their ballots on whether or not they want to recall Governor Gavin Newsom and who they would like to potentially replace him.

Conservative radio talk show host and author Larry Elder is one of the 46 candidates on the ballot looking to replace Governor Newsom if he is recalled. Elder has spoken out strongly against Governor Newsom's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and says it's one of the many reasons he chose to run for office for the first time in his life.

"I was offended by the way this governor shut down this state in the most severe way in comparison to all the other 49 states while sitting up there in the famous French Laundry restaurant with the very people who drafted the mandates, while they were not wearing masks, while they were not engaging in social distancing. His own kids were enjoying in-person private education," Elder said.

If elected, Elder said he would not require state workers to show proof of vaccination or be subject to routine COVID-19 testing. He also says he would not have a mask mandate for state workers.

"I don’t get it. I thought the whole idea behind getting vaccinated is that you’d be protected against people who aren’t vaccinated and if you’ve not been vaccinated, then you’ve assumed that risk and now you're going to make the person who's assumed that risk wears a mask to protect themselves against other people who have assumed the risk, it doesn't make any sense," Elder said.

Elder said he is vaccinated and is not an "anti-vaxxer". Elder thinks that getting vaccinated should be left up to individuals and parents when it comes to getting children vaccinated. He says doesn't think children in schools should have mask mandates, but says that those decisions would be left up to school districts to decide.

Elder also reacted to the news from Texas that most abortions in that state would now be banned.

"I am pro-life, I’m proudly pro-life," he said. "I think the overturning of Roe v. Wade frankly is unlikely, but if it did, it would revert to the states and we have a supermajority of Democrats in both chambers of our legislature and there are zero reasons to believe that the pro-choice state of California would suddenly become pro-life."

Elder says he thinks the reason so many Democrats on the national stage like Vice President Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have weighed in on this race is because they are worried that he could win.

"I’m going to have the power to appoint the replacement of Dianne Feinstein should Dianne Feinstein retire from the Senate or otherwise is no longer available to serve. That would break the 50/50 tie in Washington D.C." he said.

As far as his ties to former President Donald Trump, Elder says he's a proud Republican and will support any Republican who is nominated or elected President from the party.

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