After rumors began swirling earlier this month that former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner had political aspirations, the 71-year-old reality TV star has officially filed paperwork to run for governor of California.
“I’m in! California is worth fighting for. Visit http://CaitlynJenner.com to follow or donate today. #RecallNewsom,” the longtime Republcian wrote on Twitter as she is seeking to replace embattled Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election
“As Californians, we face a now-or-never opportunity to fundamentally fix our state before it's too late,” Jenner wrote in her announcement. “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.”
Jenner, who is a transgender rights activist, is hoping to use her celebrity status to win over her constituents in the Golden State. She has assembled a team of prominent Republican political operatives to advise her campaign, including 2016 and 2020 Trump presidential campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio as well as Steven Cheung, who worked alongside Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in his successful 2003 bid for governor of California, according to Axios.
The KUWTK alum launched a website alongside her announcement. In a statement, she took aim at the Democrats' one-party monopoly on California politics over the past decade.
"California has been my home for nearly 50 years. I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality," Jenner wrote. "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."
Current Gov. Newsom is facing an all-but-certain recall election later this year. Some of the dissatisfaction targeted at the governor stems from the way he handled the pandemic and communicated his decisions to close businesses to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Jenner defeating the controversial incumbent won’t be an easy task though. Fifty-six percent of Californian adults questioned in a Public Policy Institute of California survey released late last month said if the recall election were held right now, they’d vote to keep Newsom in office, with four-in-ten saying they’d vote to oust the governor from office.