Caitlyn Jenner said Friday that she is joining the ranks of celebrities-turned-politicians after filing paperwork for a run to become California’s governor.
Announcing her campaign for Golden State governor, the Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star tweeted: “I’m in! California is worth fighting for.”
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.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is expected to face a fall recall election after money poured in from the GOP to oust the embattled blue-state leader.
Newsom received criticism — and apologized — earlier in the pandemic after images emerged of him eating indoors at a fancy French restaurant, apparently in violation of his own COVID-19 advice. He has served as governor since 2019.
In a statement, Jenner called his tenure “disastrous” as she complained of high taxes, overly stringent pandemic health rules and a hypocritical executive who “orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with his lobbyist friends.”
I’m in! California is worth fighting for. Visit https://t.co/a1SfOAMZQ3 to follow or donate today. #RecallNewsom pic.twitter.com/9yCck3KK4D
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) April 23, 2021
“California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” Jenner, 71, said in the statement. “I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality.”
She claimed that Democratic leadership has led California off a cliff, adding in the statement that “we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress.”
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.
In 2018, she published an op-ed criticizing Trump over his policy banning transgender troops serving in the military. “I cannot support anyone who is working against our community,” she wrote in The Washington Post. “I do not support Trump.”
Though Newsom’s approval rating has slipped, it remained above 50% in a March poll, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonprofit research organization.
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.
She stressed her outsider perspective as she launched her bid.
“For too long, career politicians have over-promised and under-delivered,” she said in her statement. “We need a leader with a vision and the resolve to see it through. This will be a campaign of solutions, providing a roadmap back to prosperity.”
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