On Friday, during an interview with far-right talk radio host Mark Levin, California Republican gubernatorial recall candidate Larry Elder openly gloated about the possibility that, were he to win the recall, he would be able to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — one of the oldest senators currently in Washington — were she to die in office.
"Nobody's seen her in weeks," said Elder. "I'm told it's an even worse mental condition than Joe Biden ... They're afraid I'm going to replace her with a Republican — which I most certainly would do and that would be an earthquake in Washington D.C."
If this were to happen, Democrats would lose majority control of the U.S. Senate even before the midterm elections are scheduled to take place.
California is among a majority of states without a so-called "same-party law," or a legal requirement that an appointed replacement to a Senate vacancy be the same party voters last elected. Democrats theoretically have the votes in the California legislature to pass such a law if it were necessary — Republicans in the Kentucky General Assembly recently did the same to ensure Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear cannot replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a Democrat.
Although Republicans' electoral standing in the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom currently look weak, Elder, a longtime right-wing talk show host, has emerged as the clear favorite. He has drawn controversy for his past remarks about women, domestic abuse and sexual harassment allegations, and his pledge to wipe out COVID-19 health guidelines in the state of California.
Listen to the full interview here.