LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Caitlyn Jenner has announced that she is running for governor of California.
The 71-year-old Jenner reported the news Friday morning.
“I’m in! California is worth fighting for,” she tweeted.
In a letter posted to social media, Jenner took aim at Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election later this year.
“This isn’t the California we know,” Jenner wrote. “This is Gavin Newsom’s California, where he orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with lobbyist friends.”
Jenner will join a crowded field of Republicans that includes former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and businessman John Cox.
The former “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reality TV star and Olympic gold medalist had previously entertained the idea of a political bid in 2017, saying at the time that she had considered running for Senate in California.
Caitlyn came out as a transgender woman in 2015 and has since been a vocal advocate for transgender rights and the LBGTQ community.
“For the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people,” Jenner wrote Friday. “Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision.”
Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College Jack Pitney spoke to CBSLA’s Joy Benedict, saying, “We can’t claim that she is a favorite, but you can’t count her out either. We do have a history of electing celebrities to office here in California.”
Newsom, meanwhile, is facing a major recall effort. To qualify for a special election, organizers needed about 1.5 million verified signatures by the deadline of March 17. Organizers have said they collected more than 2 million since last June. County election officials have until April 29 to verify the authenticity of the signatures and notify the secretary of state with the results, according to CBS Sacramento.
“We always knew the Republican recall would be a ludicrous circus full of Trump-supporters, which only reinforces how much Californians appreciate Governor Newsom’s competent compassionate experienced leadership during an unprecedented series of crises,” Newsome’s Anti-Recall Campaign said when asked for comment.
A special election would be held 60 to 80 days after the votes are verified, according to CBS News.
If it does indeed qualify, voters will be asked two questions: one asking whether Newsom should be recalled and a second asking to choose his replacement in the event the recall passes.
If he were to keep his seat, however, he would again be challenged in the 2022 governor’s race.
Newsom’s anti-recall campaign issued the following statement to CBSLA in response to Jenner’s announcement:
“We always knew the Republican recall would be a ludicrous circus full of Trump supporters, which only reinforces how much Californians appreciate Governor Newsom’s competent compassionate experienced leadership during an unprecedented series of crises.”
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) April 23, 2021