Larry Elder Won't Face Criminal Charges in Boost to California Recall Election Candidate

California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder will not face criminal charges over an alleged 2015 incident involving a gun and his former fiancée as the race to attempt to unseat Governor Gavin Newsom continues.

Elder, a conservative talk radio host, was accused by his then fiancée Alexandra Datig of brandishing a .45 pistol at her in her bedroom during a heated conversation. He has denied the claim.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has declined to prosecute Elder because the alleged offense occurred more than six years ago, citing the statute of limitations.

FOX LA's Elex Michaelson tweeted on Tuesday: "WON'T face criminal charges related to @alexdatig's allegations he brandished a gun at her (something he denies).

"@GeorgeGascon says the alleged offenses occurred more than 6 years ago & would have been misdemeanors which must be charged within a 1 year statute."

Elder, who is seen as the leading contender to oust Newsom in the recall election scheduled for September 14, had previously denied Datig's allegation.

"I have never brandished a gun at anyone," Elder said in a statement in August. "I grew up in South Central; I know exactly how destructive this type of behavior is. It's not me, and everyone who knows me knows it's not me. These are salacious allegations."

"People do not get into public life precisely because of this type of politics of personal destruction," Elder said. "I am not going to dignify this with a response—it's beneath me. While my opponents and the Newsom campaign would love to keep voters distracted, I am going to stay focused on the issues that inspired 1.7 million Californians to petition for this recall."

.@larryelder WON'T face criminal charges related to @alexdatig's allegations he brandished a gun at her (something he denies). @GeorgeGascon says the alleged offenses occurred more than 6 years ago & would have been misdemeanors which must be charged within a 1 year statute.

— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) September 1, 2021

Datig had described the alleged event to Politico on August 19, saying Elder had brandished a gun while the two were having a heated exchange amid the breakdown of their relationship.

She said they had been talking when Elder became quiet and "walked over to the nightstand, opened the door, took out the gun."

Elder is one of 46 candidates running to replace Newsom if the Democratic governor is removed from office in the recall election. Since the conservative radio host's entry into the race, he has widely been seen as the most likely Republican to succeed Newsom.

The recall election has two parts. First, voters are asked whether they want to replace the governor. If more than 50 percent of votes cast approve of recalling Newsom, he will be removed from office.

If Newsom is recalled he will then be replaced by the candidate who wins the most votes on the replacement list. This candidate does not need to win over 50 percent of votes but just a simple majority. The governor cannot run to be his own replacement and California Democrats are focusing on defeating the recall and are not running a backup candidate.

Newsweek has asked the Larry Elder campaign for comment.

Larry Elder Attends a Movie Premiere
Radio Talk Show Host Larry Elder attends the "Death Of A Nation" Premiere at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on July 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Elder will not face criminal charges for an alleged incident involving a gun in 2015. Greg Doherty/Getty Images