Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympic athlete-turned-transgender activist and reality TV star, has announced her intention to run for governor of California in the upcoming recall election to replace incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom.
Jenner says on her new website, which she launched on Friday: “I’m all in! For nearly 50 years, California has been my home. I came here because I believed that anyone, regardless of their background or social status, could make their dreams come true. However, one-party rule, which prioritizes politics over progress and special interests over people, has dimmed the Golden State’s luster over the last decade. Sacramento requires an open and forthright leader with a clear vision.”
Her affiliation with any political party is not listed on the website.
“This campaign will be powered by everyday Californians who deserve leadership that is accountable to them, not the special interests in Sacramento.” she added.
Jenner, a longtime Republican, made a political U-turn in 2018, writing a mea culpa column in which she admitted that she was “I was wrong” about Trump’s commitment to LGBTQ rights.
“Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to claim to support this valuable, vulnerable community, and I was encouraged by the applause he received when he said at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 that he would stand up for the LGBTQ community,” Jenner wrote in a Washington Post column.
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) April 23, 2021
“Unfortunately, I was mistaken. The truth is that this president has been relentless in his attacks on the trans community… He has turned a blind eye to our humanity. He has degraded our honor. He’s turned trans people into political pawns by inflaming anti-trans sentiment in an attempt to energize his party’s most right-wing constituency…”
Jenner said she has “changed her political views.” in a June 2020 interview with People about the five-year anniversary of her transition.
She told the outlet, “I’ve changed my thinking in a lot of ways,” “economically conservative, socially progressive,” she says now, describing herself as “we need equality for all, regardless of who’s in the White House.”
Some people are skeptical.
Egalitarianism On Friday, California slammed Jenner on Twitter for her previous support of Trump. “Make no mistake: we can’t wait for California to elect a #trans governor. However, for years, @Caitlyn Jenner has urged the #LGBTQ+ community to put their faith in Donald Trump. That’s how it turned out. Now she wants us to put our faith in her? It’s a no.
Make no mistake: we can’t wait to elect a #trans governor of California.
— Equality California (@eqca) April 23, 2021
Jenner described herself as a “compassionate disrupter” who believes that “career politicians have over-promised and under-delivered.” in her announcement on Friday. Newsom’s tenure as governor, she said, was “disastrous.”
How does a recall work?
Newsom’s critics, enraged by the governor’s liberal policies and approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, submitted over 2 million signatures in March to qualify for a recall election against him. The California secretary of state is currently validating those signatures; however, most observers believe the measure will reach the required 1.5 million valid signatures.
Officials have until April 29 to complete the certification process. An election could be held in October or November if there are enough valid signatures.
If the recall is approved for the ballot, voters will be asked two questions: first, whether Newsom should be removed from office; and second, whether Newsom should be re-elected. If more than half of voters support removing Newsom from office, the second option would be a list of replacement candidates to choose from.
According to the secretary of state, if Californians vote to recall the governor, Newsom will be removed from office and replaced by the candidate who receives a plurality of votes — not a majority, but more than the other listed candidates.
The highest concentrations of signatures per capita were found in rural communities, with higher concentrations also found in more conservative areas of the state. Attempts to recall Newsom have failed five times before.
The former mayor of San Francisco is still popular in Democratic strongholds, including the Bay Area.
Who else wants to run in the recall race?
John Cox, a Republican businessman who lost to Newsom in 2018 and is running again; former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; and ex-U.S. Rep. Doug Ose, who last held office in 2005, are among those who have declared their intentions to run. There isn’t a single one that comes close to being a household name.
The last time Republicans won the governorship was in 2003, when Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated Democratic Gov. Gray Davis in a recall election that featured a crowded field of candidates, including a few minor celebrities. The recall effort received more than 55 percent of the vote in that election, with Schwarzenegger receiving over 4 million votes. In that special election, more than 60 percent of the more than 15.4 million Californians who had registered to vote actually did so.
That was the only successful recall of a governor in the history of California.
Newsom was previously the lieutenant governor and mayor of San Francisco before being elected governor in 2018.
Newsom has been touring the state extensively, praising the state’s vaccine progress. He has stated that he takes the recall effort “very seriously,” but has labeled it a “partisan political power grab” orchestrated by extremist conservatives and white supremacists such as the Proud Boys.
Small businesses have been harmed by pandemic-related restrictions, according to Jenner, and a “whole generation of children have lost a year of education.”
“Taxes are too high, killing jobs, hurting families, and putting an especially heavy burden on our most vulnerable people.”
Jenner is well-known for her Olympic achievements as well as her marriage to Kris Jenner, formerly Kris Kardashian. Jenner is the mother of reality TV stars Kendall, Kylie, Brody, and Brandon Jenner, as well as a stepparent to the Kardashian children. Two other Jenner siblings are less well-known.
Jenner has appeared on the reality TV show “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” which aired for 20 seasons and was the star of her own show, “I am Cait,” which aired for two seasons. In 2017, she released “The Secrets of My Life,” a memoir. In March, she appeared on “The Masked Singer”
Jenner made headlines in 2015 after being involved in a fatal multi-vehicle accident in Malibu. Several people were injured, including a 69-year-old woman. Jenner, who was not injured, was traveling at an unsafe speed for the traffic conditions, according to sheriff’s investigators, but prosecutors declined to press charges. Jenner was the subject of at least three lawsuits stemming from the crash’s death and injuries.
Jenner is an avid golfer who most recently traveled to the desert in 2017 to compete in the LPGA golf tournament.