Larry Elder, the top candidate to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom, conceded late Tuesday that he lost in bid to unseat the Democratic governor in the state’s gubernatorial recall vote but suggested he’s not walking away from the effort.
"Stay tuned," the Republican talk radio host told supporters shortly after ballot results made clear Newsom had survived the recall effort. "We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war."
Incomplete election results early Wednesday had Elder far ahead among the 46 candidates who had hoped to replace Newsom if the recall succeeded, according to the Associated Press.
Elder's concession speech has sparked speculation he’ll challenge Newson in his reelection bid next year. He has yet to say whether he'll challenge Newsom’s effort to win a second term.
The Elder campaign before the final ballots were counted, to report voting irregularities. But Elder in his concession speech made no reference to any voter “fraud” or voting irregularities, nor plans to pursue a review.
He also told supporters to be "gracious in defeat."
Before Tuesday's vote, Elder, a 69-year-old lawyer and author, declined to say whether he would accept the results.
"I think we all ought to be looking at election integrity, no matter whether you’re a Democrat, an independent or a Republican. Let’s all make sure that the election is a fair election," he said, according to The Washington Post.