Caitlyn Jenner is running for governor.
The former Olympic athlete and reality TV star has officially filed paperwork with the California Secretary of State’s office to challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election. The signature deadline for the recall is next week, and it is expected to reach the million-signature threshold needed to trigger the election.
“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 said in a statement Friday. “I am a proven winner, and the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom’s disastrous time as governor.”
In her statement announcing the bid, Jenner criticized “over-restrictive” COVID-19 lockdowns, the inability of some districts to reopen schools, and the state’s high taxes. “This isn’t the California we know,” Jenner added. “This is Gavin Newsom’s California, where he orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with his lobbyist friends.”
Jenner’s run mirrors that of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in 2003. Both Jenner and Schwarzenegger were well-known public figures who challenged an embattled Democratic incumbent facing a recall election. Unusually for Hollywood, both are well-known Republicans, though more moderate in their policies than the national party.
The campaign says a formal announcement is expected in the next few weeks, after Jenner makes a barnstorming trip across the state.
Axios reports that Jenner has been working with a number of veterans of President Donald Trump’s campaign, including pollster Tony Fabrizio. She also consulted Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale. That being said, campaign advisers indicate that Jenner will not run as a Trump Republican, but rather as a socially liberal but fiscally conservative candidate.