Larry Elder isn’t running for CA Governor, but he may run for President

Larry Elder won more votes than any other candidate hoping to take Gov. Gavin Newsom’s job in California’s recall election in 2021. 

But, he will not be running for California Governor again in 2022. 

"I'm a realist. I know that in California, Democrats and independents who typically vote Democrat outnumber Republicans almost three to one. So I'm not sure a rematch in the short term would make a whole lot of sense," Elder told FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson in an exclusive interview for the statewide political show "The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson."

Michaelson asked if it would be impossible for a Republican to win the Governor’s race in California right now?

"It would be extremely daunting," Elder said. "It's not impossible. Otherwise, I wouldn't have tried it. But a recall election is very different than a general one to one election, and I thought that with a plurality of the votes, I had a chance to become the next governor of California, you know, in a mano a mano kind of race…I think it would be extremely challenging" he said. 

RELATED: Larry Elder announces he won’t run for California governor in 2022

Michaelson followed up: "basically, you made the decision not to run because you didn’t think you could win?"

Elder responded: "Boy, Elex, I love the way you summarize…but that's probably a good way of putting it. Not right now. The state has got to hit what I call rock bottom. And little by little, we're getting there... But I don't think California's hit rock bottom quite yet, so that some of the Democrats and independents are going to rethink their allegiance to the Democratic Party. Well, not just yet," he said. 

Is Elder backing a different candidate to run against Gov. Newsom?

"Virtually anybody but Newsom," he said. 

While Elder continues his work as a syndicated radio talk show host, he’s launched a new political action committee called "Elder for America."

The goal? Help Republicans win back the House and Senate. They’re also supporting policy positions he believes in, like school choice and tough on crime initiatives. 

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Some commentators have speculated whether the "Elder for America" logo looks like the beginnings of a presidential run?

Elder didn’t deny the possibility. 

"Who knows what the future will bring? Larry Elder is only part and game of life. All I know is that in the near term, I'm not going to challenge Gavin Newsom in 2022. There won't be a rematch. I'm sure he's breathing a sigh of relief. But regarding that, I have no idea how my future holds. If the phone rings, I'm going to answer it," he said. 

Elder said he never thought of himself as a politician before last year. 

"I enjoy campaigning far more than I thought I would. With all due respect, I think I was pretty good at it. I enjoyed dealing with people, getting people. I enjoyed hearing about their issues and I misread or less than I thought I would. So I'm somebody who is interested in politics, interested in politicians. And I never was before. I never, ever thought that I would be the front runner. As you know, I was right away and my lead only got bigger and bigger. The last time I ran for office was third grade class president, and I carry three out of four roles. So for somebody who was the rookie, I did pretty well and I really did enjoy it. So I'm not closing the door on what might happen down the road."

Watch Elder’s complete interview on "The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson." 

It debuts on Friday January 7th on FOX 11 Los Angeles at 10:30PM and airs statewide all weekend. Find additional airtimes at

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