Former Olympian, reality TV star, transgender activitist and longtime Republican Caitlyn Jenner announced on Twitter Friday morning that she is running for governor of California as the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom proceeds.
In a press release, Ms. Jenner’s campaign wrote that a formal announcement will follow in the coming weeks, but she filed her paperwork this morning to run, with the campaign slogan: “I’m in!”
“California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” Ms. Jenner wrote on her newly launched campaign website. “I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality. But 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. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision.”
Gov. Newsom’s fate in the recall effort will be announced next week, and according to CBS News reporting, the sitting governor is likely facing a recall vote. The recall petition needs 1,495,709 signatures, and organizers say they collected more than that. As of March 11, nearly 82% of the signatures that have been verified (1,454,710) have been deemed valid.
If the measure makes it to the ballot, reports say voters can expect an election in October or November. Voters will be asked whether they want to recall Gov. Newsom, and then who should replace him, which would then be chosen by an open election, whoever gets the most votes.
Joseph Holland, the county’s Clerk-Recorder, said earlier this month that the effort “looks like it will pass,” which would leave the county with more than $2 million in election costs.
Talk of Ms. Jenner’s run for governor began a couple weeks ago, and in her announcement Friday, she said that career politicians have “over-promised and under-delivered” for “too long.”
“I have been a compassionate disrupter throughout my life, from representing the United States and winning a gold medal at the Olympics to helping advance the movement for equality. As Californians, we face a now-or-never opportunity to fundamentally fix our state before it’s too late. Taking on entrenched Sacramento politicians and the special interests that fund them requires a fighter who isn’t afraid to do what is right. I am a proven winner and the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom’s disastrous time as governor.”
She said that residents are living in “Gavin Newsom’s California, where he orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with his lobbyist friends.”
Bobbi McGinnis, the county’s Republican Party chair, told the News-Press that she thinks Ms. Jenner’s bid for governor is “wonderful.”
“This shows the new Republican Party of California, that we welcome transgenders, we welcome gays, we welcome people of all ethnicities,” she said. “We are a broad-based organization and we just want common sense, responsible government. I don’t know enough about her background or if this is a person who would make a good governor or be able to give us the regulations and rulings that we need … We just need competent leadership.”
Ms. McGinnis referred to President Joe Biden’s recently announced capital gains tax proposal, which is expected to almost double the tax rate paid by the wealthy.
“It’s going to hurt the working class and the poor of America, and that’s what the Republican Party now represents,” she said. “Not only do we have a much broader tent, but we represent the working people, the taxpayers of our state, county and country.”
The Republican chair added that if Ms. Jenner’s goals align with that of the party’s, an endorsement could be given.
Ms. Jenner endorsed former President Donald Trump in 2016, but later retracted her endorsement, writing in a Washington Post op-ed in 2018, “Sadly, I was wrong. The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president.”
Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, tweeted upon Ms. Jenner’s announcement, “Make no mistake: we can’t wait to elect a trans governor of California. But Caitlyn Jenner spent years telling the LGBTQ+ community to trust Donald Trump. We saw how that turned out. Now she wants us to trust her? Hard pass.”
Visit http://caitlynjenner.com/ to learn more about her campaign.