Former California State Senate Democrat Leader Endorses Larry Elder for Governor

The former Democrat majority leader in the California state senate has endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder to replace Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Gloria Romero cited education as the reason for supporting Elder in the Sept. 14 election in which Californians decide whether to recall Newsom.

“Our public schools need big change. I’m Gloria Romero; I was the majority leader of Democrats in the state senate,” Romero says in a campaign video. “I believe in charter schools and school choice. So does Larry Elder — but not Gavin Newsom. He shut our public schools while he sent his kids to private schools.

“Yes, I’m a Democrat. But the recall of Newsom is not about political party. It’s about Newsom. Larry Elder for governor.”

Elder’s campaign told CalMatters the ad will air “in nearly every major media market in the state.”

Romero became the first woman to hold the job of California State Senate majority leader when she held the position from 2001-08. She stepped down to become chairman of the Education Committee, and was term-limited two years later.

Elder, a conservative talk radio host, currently leads the pack of GOP candidates looking to replace Newsom.

The recall election was scheduled after activists gathered 1.5 million signatures on a petition.

Voters will be asked if Newsom should be removed from office. A second question will ask who should replace him.

Criticism of Newsom grew during his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In November, the governor was seen violating his own mandate by dining in a posh Napa Valley restaurant maskless and surrounded by people from outside of his own household.

“He was sitting with the very same lobbyists and medical professionals who drafted the mandates they were violating by not wearing masks and by not socially distancing,” Elder said in July, calling Newsom’s actions “hypocrisy.”

Elder has campaigned on repealing mask and vaccine mandates, and has criticized Newsom for hurting businesses with coronavirus policies last year.

“This man that I’m going to defeat on September 14, he shut down the state in the most severe way than any of the other 49 governors have,” Elder told an audience earlier this month, Fox News reported.

“When I get elected, assuming there are still facemask mandates and vaccine mandates, they will be repealed right away and then I’ll break for breakfast.”

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