SAN DIEGO, CA – After weeks of rumors and speculation, former Reality TV star and U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete Caitlyn Jenner officially announced Friday via Twitter that she is joining the race for California Governor as a Republican in the all-but-certain upcoming recall election against incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom.
“I’m in! California is worth fighting for,” Jenner tweeted.
Jenner, a transgender rights activist, has filed the paperwork needed to run for Governor and has engaged the services of several Republican advisors to help set up and run her campaign. She has also launched an official website that features an option to donate to her campaign and an e-commerce site featuring merchandise such as t-shirts and mugs adorned with a “Caitlyn for California” logo. A recall election is when an elected official can be removed from office before their term has ended by a direct public vote.
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Gavin Newsom was elected governor in the 2018 election. In February 2020, a recall petition against Newsom was introduced and approved by the California Secretary of State in June 2020; the effort to remove Newsom from office was fueled by several factors, the main one being his perceived shortcomings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supporters turned in 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 submission deadline, and if at least 1,495,709 signatures are deemed valid by the California Secretary of State by the April 29 deadline the recall election will go forward.
Jenner, who has never held public office before, said in a press release that she’s seen the quality of life in her home state drop drastically over the years, and claimed that she can restore California back to its former glory.
“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,” she said. “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.”
However, if the recall election proceeds, defeating Newsom may be an uphill battle for the former sports and TV star. According to a survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, 56 percent of those polled said that they would vote to keep Newsom as Governor.