Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympian turned reality TV star, officially launched her bid for California governor Friday morning after weeks of speculation that she would run to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election.
“California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” said Jenner, a Republican. “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.”
Jenner enters a potentially crowded field days before the recall petition is expected to qualify for the ballot. Other candidates include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, and former GOP Rep. Doug Ose. In the 2003 recall of Gov. Gray Davis, 135 candidates ran on the ballot.
A longtime Republican, Jenner has spoken out often on politics and sometimes criticized former President Donald Trump, though she said she voted for him 2016.
Axios reported Friday that Jenner has built a team of Republican operatives that includes Tony Fabrizio, the top pollster on Trump’s campaigns in 2016 and 2020. A campaign adviser told the news outlet that Jenner, who is a trans woman, plans to run as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.
Jenner, known for appearing in the long-running TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” faces the challenge of chipping into his support — and she will look to follow in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican movie star who served as California’s governor from 2003 to 2011.