California Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder got a hostile reception as he toured a Venice homeless encampment Wednesday — with one woman in a pink gorilla mask chucking an egg that narrowly missed the radio talk show host’s head.
Video tweeted by Spectrum News reporter Kate Cagle showed the unidentified black-clad woman steering her bike into position a few feet from Elder’s left shoulder before letting fly with the missile.
When the woman was confronted by a member of Elder’s security team, she told him to “take your hands off me, motherf—er! Touch me again! Touch me again!” She then aimed a left hook at the man, leading others to step in and break up the confrontation.
The security guard was then menaced by another man wearing all black before a second woman slapped him on the side of his head. As the Elder team member was led away, the candidate was hustled into a white SUV. Someone from the crowd yelled to “get that piece of s–t out of here” as the vehicle pulled away.
The Los Angeles Times estimated that Elder spent 12 minutes in Venice before his visit was cut short by the ugly incident. Sarah Duke, a pregnant homeless woman who lives in the encampment the candidate was visiting told the paper that Elder “has no business down here.”
“If you ain’t going to help us, move … on,” Duke added.
Elder, who had cast his ballot in the Sept. 14 recall election earlier Wednesday, later tweeted that he had kicked off his “Recall Express” bus tour with the visit to Venice.
“Before we even left Los Angeles, my security detail was physically assaulted, shot with a pellet gun, and hit with projectiles,” he wrote. “The intolerant left will not stop us. We will recall Gavin Newsom. We will save California.”
Elder is one of 46 candidates on the ballot in next week’s election — the second such vote to take place in California in under two decades. Voters who fill out a ballot will first be asked whether Newsom, a Democrat, will be recalled. If a simple majority votes “yes,” whoever of the 46 contenders gets the most votes will take his place as governor.
Campaigners hoping to recall Newsom face an uphill climb, if the latest polling is any indication. An average of surveys from the website FiveThirtyEight shows support for keeping Newsom in office to be 12.3 percentage points higher than support for removing him.
The incumbent governor was boosted Wednesday by high-profile support from Vice President Kamala Harris, a fellow Bay Area native who joined Newsom at a rally in San Leandro — just south of her hometown of Oakland.