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California recall candidate Elder’s ex claims he showed her a gun during a heated argument in 2015

Larry Elder, the conservative radio talk show host seen by many as the favorite to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom should he be recalled, is under fire after his ex-fiancé says he showed her a gun while high on marijuana during an argument.  

Alexandra Datig’s accusation, first reported by Politico, comes with less than four weeks until the September 14 election and at a time when mail-in ballots already have arrived at voters’ homes. 

Datig, 51 and a longtime Los Angeles resident, said she worked on Elder’s show and they lived together during their 18-month romantic relationship from 2013 to 2015. 

A letter and other records provided by Datig to The Associated Press – including an April 6, 2015, email in which she wrote about the collapse of their engagement – allegedly sketch a portrait of an emotionally abusive relationship in which Elder routinely was using medicinal marijuana to excess. 

Larry Elder, the conservative radio talk show host seen by many as the favorite to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom should he be recalled, is under fire after his ex-fiancé Alexandra Datig says he showed her a gun during an argument

Elder, who has hosted The Larry Elder Show since 1993 and been a frequent guest on Fox News, has denied the accusations

Elder, who has hosted The Larry Elder Show since 1993 and been a frequent guest on Fox News, has denied the accusations

She claims Elder was high during the 2015 argument and went to a cabinet where he kept his gun ‘and made sure it was in my view.’

‘He did not point it at me, but he wanted to make sure that I knew that he was checking’ to see it was loaded, she told the AP.

Threatening another person with a firearm could be a criminal offense but Datig said she never reported it to police. 

Elder issued a statement in a Twitter thread saying: ‘I have never brandished a gun at anyone.’ 

Elder, who is seeking to become California’s first black governor, noted that he grew up in South Los Angeles, an area with high violent crime.  

The frequent Fox News guest said he intended to ‘stay focused on the issues’ that inspired the recall drive by Republicans upset with Newsom’s progressive policies and handling of the pandemic.

His campaign said he was still planning weekend rallies. 

Elder did not specifically address the claim about cannabis use in questions submitted to his campaign by AP. His statement in response to Datig’s claims of abuse referred broadly to ‘salacious allegations.’

Datig, 51 and a longtime Los Angeles resident, said she worked on Elder's show and they lived together during their 18-month romantic relationship from 2013 to 2015

Datig, 51 and a longtime Los Angeles resident, said she worked on Elder’s show and they lived together during their 18-month romantic relationship from 2013 to 2015

Elder has frequently led polls among recall voters to replace current California Governor Gavin Newsome

Elder has frequently led polls among recall voters to replace current California Governor Gavin Newsome

‘People do not get into public life precisely because of this type of politics of personal destruction. I am not going to dignify this with a response – it´s beneath me,’ Elder wrote. 

A short time later he tweeted: ‘They’re coming at me with every dirty trick because they know what´s coming on September 14.’

Elder issued a statement in a Twitter thread saying: 'I have never brandished a gun at anyone'

Elder issued a statement in a Twitter thread saying: ‘I have never brandished a gun at anyone’

Elder, who is seeking to become California's first black governor, noted that he grew up in South Los Angeles, an area with high violent crime

Elder, who is seeking to become California’s first black governor, noted that he grew up in South Los Angeles, an area with high violent crime

The frequent Fox News guest said he intended to 'stay focused on the issues' that inspired the recall drive by Republicans upset with Newsom's progressive policies and handling of the pandemic

The frequent Fox News guest said he intended to ‘stay focused on the issues’ that inspired the recall drive by Republicans upset with Newsom’s progressive policies and handling of the pandemic

Datig supports one of Elder´s Republican rivals, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. 

This comes amid news outlets revealing that Elder had written employers should be able to ask women if and when they plan to get pregnant in his 2002 book Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America. 

Elder had written employers should be able to ask women if and when they plan to get pregnant in his 2002 book Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America

Elder had written employers should be able to ask women if and when they plan to get pregnant in his 2002 book Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America

‘Are there legitimate business reasons for a venture capitalist to ask a female entrepreneur whether she intends to have children? Hell, yes,’ Elder wrote, according to the Washington Post

Elder also suggested that women who choose to have children are not ‘dedicated’ to their jobs and unable to give an ‘all-hands-on-deck commitment’ to work. 

He went after former acting Massachusetts governor Jane Swift, a Repbulican, for taking on the new role after giving birth to twins, claiming that ‘to tell women they can run a state, have family and children, and be equally attentive to all — is a lie.’

The favorites running against Gov. Newsom in California’s recall election 

Who could replace Governor Gavin Newsom? There are 46 candidates on the ballot but here are some of the favorites 

Larry Elder: The conservative commentator has hosted a radio talk show since 1993 and authored several boooks 

Kevin Faulconer: The former mayor of San Diego strongly supports former President Donald Trump’s agenda

John Cox: A businessman who unsuccessfully challenged Newsom in 2002, getting just 38 percent of the general election vote 

Kevin Kiley: A GOP state assemblyman

Kevin Paffrath: A YouTuber who makes videos about relate to real estate and finance, he’s one of the nine Democrats on the ballot

Caitlyn Jenner: The transgender former reality TV star and Olympic gold medalist has run on cutting business regulations and keeping trans girls out of girls’ sports

Patrick Kilpatrick: An actor, screenwriter and producer running as a Democrat

Angelyne: The singer, actress, media personality and model is running without any party preference 

Earlier this week, Faulconer began targeting Elder with criticism and specifically questioning his attitudes about women, 

‘Larry Elder doesn´t have the judgment or character to lead our state,’ Faulconer said in response to Datig´s allegations. 

Another Republican in the race, state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, said in a statement that he found Datig’s claims disturbing.

‘I believe that any woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, and Ms. Datig´s deeply troubling account should be treated with the utmost seriousness. Mr. Elder should be given every opportunity to respond,’ he said.  

Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist and former reality TV star who is also on the ballot to replace Newsom, criticized Elder as well.  

‘This is outrageous and speaks volumes about the type of person he is,’ Jenner tweeted. ‘We need to protect the privacy of all women, not abuse them.’

However, in a televised debate Thursday night with Faulconer, Kiley and fellow GOP candidate John Cox, the issue never came up.

Elder, who launched his campaign to replace Newsom July 12, has hosted ‘The Larry Elder Show’ on syndicated radio stations since 1993.

Datig said she waited until now to come forward because she initially didn’t think he would be competitive.

‘I didn´t take it seriously but when Larry started to trend and become the frontrunner, I became extremely concerned,’ she said.

The documents provided by Datig described months of emotional distress from the unraveling romantic and business relationship. ‘I feel trapped and afraid,’ she wrote in the mail.

Datig also provided the AP with a copy of a confidentiality agreement she signed in 2014 barring her from speaking about the ‘personal and business affairs’ of Elder and his business, Laurence A. Elder & Associates, Inc. She said she was breaking it to go public with her accusations.

A March 31, 2015, letter from her attorney to Elder asked for $6,000 in monthly support for Datig for one year, to cover expenses including rent, car and health care costs. She also asked for $195,000 for public relations, marketing and other services she said she provided for his show.

The two ultimately signed an agreement on April 13, 2015, for Elder to pay Datig $20,000 and cover the cost of her $5,000 legal retainer and $185 to dry clean her wedding dress. Elder agreed he and his assistant would sign a nondisclosure agreement regarding anything to do with Datig, that he would write her a letter of recommendation for her work product, and that they two would ‘halt mutual insults.’

Elder has consistently been most popular in surveys of pro-recall voters. A poll showed him with 23 percent of the vote, a 10-point lead over any of the other candidates

Elder has consistently been most popular in surveys of pro-recall voters. A poll showed him with 23 percent of the vote, a 10-point lead over any of the other candidates

Datig refers to herself as a sex trafficking survivor and has publicly disclosed working for so-called former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, who was convicted in the mid-1990s of running a high-priced call-girl ring, a conviction that was later overturned. Fleiss was later sentenced to federal prison for cheating on her taxes and laundering call-girl profits. In a 2013 interview with KCAL-TV, Datig described becoming an informant on Fleiss.

Newsom, the state’s former lieutenant governor and a 2-term former mayor of San Francisco, swept into office with nearly 62 percent of the vote in 2018. 

But Californians have put Newsom’s recall on the ballot for several reasons, including his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, taxes, rising food and gas prices, continued threat of wildfires and the fallout from a multibillion-dollar fraud scandal at the state’s unemployment agency.   

Gavin Newsom, the state's former lieutenant governor and a 2-term former mayor of San Francisco, swept into office with nearly 62 percent of the vote in 2018 but has faced backlash due to his coronavirus policies

Gavin Newsom, the state’s former lieutenant governor and a 2-term former mayor of San Francisco, swept into office with nearly 62 percent of the vote in 2018 but has faced backlash due to his coronavirus policies

Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner is among the 46 candidates hoping to replace Newsom

Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner is among the 46 candidates hoping to replace Newsom

Whipsaw stay-at-home orders by Newsom, crushing job losses from business closures, shuttered schools and the disruption of daily life soured just about everybody. 

In a state with nearly 40 million people there are many grievances, including California’s wallet-sapping taxes, rising food and gas prices, the threat of water rationing to contend with a long-running drought and the continuing threat of wildfires. As governor, Newsom is a ready target for that resentment.

He is also being hit by fallout from a multibillion-dollar fraud scandal at the state unemployment agency while weathering a public shaming for going without a mask while dining out with friends and lobbyists at an exclusive restaurant last fall, while telling residents to stay home for safety.

Californians who wish to get rid of the Democrat have a two-part approach to filling out their ballot. They must first vote to remove Newsom and then make their choice for a replacement from a list of 46 candidates. If more than 50 percent of those surveyed vote to recall, a simple majority of those who chose to do so will determine the next governor. 

A CBS News/YouGov poll conducted between August 6 and 12 has the vote to keep Newsom leading by just three points. 

Elder has consistently been most popular in surveys of pro-recall voters. That same poll showed him with 23 percent of the vote, a 10-point lead over any of the other candidates. 

Other candidates include Jenner, Faulconer, Kiley, 2018 Republican candidate Cox, singer/actress/model Angelyne, YouTuber Kevin Paffrath and dozens of others. The candidates come from mostly Republican and Libertarian backgrounds, though nine Democrats will be on the ballot to replace Newsom. 

This is the second recall election in California's history. The first instance happened in 2003, when Gray Davis (right) was sent packing just months into his second term with 55 percent of Californians voting to oust the Democrat. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won 48 percent of those who voted to recall to ascend to the office

This is the second recall election in California’s history. The first instance happened in 2003, when Gray Davis (right) was sent packing just months into his second term with 55 percent of Californians voting to oust the Democrat. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won 48 percent of those who voted to recall to ascend to the office

This is the second recall election in California’s history. The first instance happened in 2003, when Gray Davis was sent packing just months into his second term with 55 percent of Californians voting to oust the Democrat. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won 48 percent of those who voted to recall to ascend to the office.  

A replacement governor would face an almost immediate challenge, as California holds their regular gubernatorial election in 2022.  




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