Former Olympic athlete and transgender reality TV star, Caitlyn Jenner has announced that she has filed the initial paperwork to run for governor of California as a Republican.
The new development comes as the current Democratic Governor, Gavin Newsom faces a possible recall over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, April 23, the former “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reality TV star and Olympic gold medalist released a statement saying she had filed the initial paperwork needed for the run.
The statement partly reads;
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. I am a proven winner and the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom’s disastrous time as governor.
She has assembled a team of veteran GOP (Republican Party) operatives, including Ryan Erwin, who’s worked on national and statewide campaigns for years, and Jenner’s new campaign website is built by Nucleus, a company run by Brad Parscale, who was President Trump’s campaign manager for part of 2020 and digital director in 2016.
The Republican is being backed by a campaign team that includes Trump campaign veterans, including pollster Tony Fabrizio, the former president’s pollster, according to Axios.
Jenner, of course, would not be the first celebrity candidate to run in a California recall election. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected in 2003 after voters recalled former Governor Gray Davis. In 2003, the party registration gap between Democrats and Republicans was 13 points closer and more than 70% of voters disapproved of Davis during the recall year, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
Jenner’s campaign also makes instant history: While a handful of transgender Americans serve in state legislatures or on city councils, none with an Olympic-sized profile have ever sought statewide office. However, she is expected to downplay her personal history and emphasize her concern for Newsom’s leadership and the state’s fiscal condition.
Jenner has six children with three successive wives—Chrystie Crownover, Linda Thompson, and Kris Jenner—and has since 2007 appeared on the reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians with Kris, their daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, and Kris’s other children Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob Kardashian.
Assigned male at birth, Caitlyn Jenner publicly came out as a trans woman in April 2015. Her new name was publicly announced in July of that year, with her name and gender being legally changed the following September.
Jenner was the 1976 men’s Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, competing as Bruce Jenner.
From 2015 to 2016, Jenner starred in the reality television series I Am Cait, which focused on her gender transition. In January 2017, she underwent sex reassignment surgery.
Jenner has been called the most famous transgender woman in the world and has gone on to become a notable figure in the transgender community.