LOS ANGELES (AP) – A day after Republican Larry Elder faced allegations of emotionally abusing a former fiancée, he was planning two rallies over the weekend and showed no outward signs that he was progressing his campaign in the California recall elections who changed the Democratic governor Gavin. could remove Newsom from office.
The longtime talk radio host, who could be the state’s first black governor, is scheduled to meet with supporters in Newport Beach on Saturday and in Clovis, Central Valley on Sunday. Both are receptive to its conservative message; Newport Beach is a long-standing Republican stronghold and Clovis is in the district of US Republican MP Devin Nunes.
Elder tweeted Thursday that he “had more energy than ever to correct this condition” and described allegations of inappropriate behavior in his previous relationship with Alexandra Datig as “lewd accusations”.
Datig’s allegations emerged at a time when there seemed to be few hard rules for politicians and officials about personal conduct and consequences. As Elder maneuvers through the wave of unwanted headlines, his front-runner status will be tested.
It was not immediately clear what effect the Datig’s claims could have on competition. On Thursday night, hours after the story broke, three of Elder’s Republican rivals were debating and the subject was never raised. Newsom did not mention it, although its campaign labeled Datig’s statements as “serious allegations”.
Voters will ultimately pass judgment on Elder in the September 14 election. The postal vote has already started.
“I think strong conservatives are most likely to dismiss these kinds of accusations as false and driven by opponents of Elder who want to take him out. This is a very partisan issue, ”said Melissa Michelson, a political scientist at Menlo College.
Overall, “these allegations are unlikely to have much of an impact. Despite the #MeToo movement’s victories, voters do not seem inclined to punish politicians for making such claims, ”she added in an email.
For the past several decades, California voters have been largely indifferent to sexual indiscretions from politicians, including Newsom, who, as Mayor of San Francisco, had an affair with his then appointments secretary, who at the time was married to his campaign manager. The topic was only briefly discussed when he ran for the presidency in 2018.
Just days before Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor in a 2003 recall election, the Los Angeles Times reported that six women, some of whom worked with him on movie sets, said he groped them. At first, his campaign denied that he had acted inappropriately, but shortly thereafter, Schwarzenegger apologized while denying some of the allegations.
Kim Nalder, professor of political science at California State University in Sacramento, said the allegations against Elder had the potential to change the minds of some voters, especially those who tune in and don’t know much about Elder. But it is unlikely that many voters who have already voted for Elder will be affected.
“The kind of people who are likely to support him are Trump voters, they won’t be dissuaded by allegations of sexual inappropriateness or mistreatment of women,” she said.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, a 2005 recording of Donald Trump boasted about kissing, fondling and trying to have sex with different women emerged. The taped conversation surfaced about a month before the election in which he defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trump also had a long history of lewd comments on and about women.
Sean Walsh, an attorney and Republican who served as Schwarzenegger’s press secretary during the 2003 recall, said he doubted Elder would suffer many consequences. He said that if voters are motivated enough to fire Newsom, “they are more than willing to pardon certain indiscretions” of candidates who want to replace him.
Walsh said the public can be especially lenient to celebrities like Schwarzenegger, and Elder can claim some level of Hollywood glitz from his many years on talk radio and appearances on Fox News.
“Whatever that Teflon thing that comes with celebrities, it got something out of it,” Walsh said.
California voters are asked if Newsom should step down and who should replace him. If the majority votes for the dismissal, who of 46 candidates receives the most votes will be replaced. A winner could come out with 25% support or less. In 2003 Schwarzenegger won with 48.6% of the vote.
Datig, in documents and an interview with The Associated Press, outlined a portrait of a strained 18-month romantic relationship in which Elder overly controlled and routinely used medical marijuana in excess. She claims Elder showed her a weapon during a heated argument in 2015; Elder denies ever wielding a weapon at anyone. She said she never reported the incident to the police and moved out after they reached a financial settlement.
Elder did not specifically address the claim about marijuana use in questions AP asked of his campaign.
Datig, 51, a long-time political activist, supports one of Elder’s Republican rivals, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. She endorsed Faulconer on her blog on Aug. 5, then emailed his campaign press release to inform her of her support and “express great concern about Larry Elder’s character and treatment of her,” the Faulconer spokesman said Campaign, John Burke, on Friday.
Faulconer said Friday he had never spoken to Datig and called their allegations troubling and said they needed investigation. When asked if Datig’s involvement was taken into account in Faulconer’s decision to criticize Elder’s record of women, which he began on Tuesday, the former mayor did not respond directly and returned to his criticism of Elder’s statements about women in the workplace.
Rob Stutzman, who was Schwarzenegger’s communications director during the 2003 recall, said he didn’t see the allegations against Elder in much the same way as Schwarzenegger did. This is a domestic dispute that allegedly involved a weapon.
Stutzman said some voters were skeptical of the Schwarzenegger allegations because they were so close to election day.
“I think people thought it was late, people thought a lot of the stories were unconfirmed, there are vendettas in Hollywood,” he said.
Ronayne answered from Sacramento.