Reality TV star and longtime Republican Caitlyn Jenner announced Friday that she will challenge California Governor Gavin Newsom in the upcoming recall election.
The timing of a recall election , which was prompted by Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, is unclear but will likely take place some time in the fall.
“Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision” and that “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,” Jenner said in a statement provided to Axios.
The former Olympian and transgender woman has recruited a number of prominent Republican strategists to guide her campaign operations. Tony Fabrizio, the top pollster on both of former President Donald Trump’s campaigns, and Steven Cheung, who did communications for the Trump White House and worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s successful 2003 recall campaign, have joined Jenner’s team.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s former campaign manager and personal friend of Jenner’s, has provided some unofficial consulting and advising to the campaign.
In the statement, Jenner railed against California’s high taxation and “over-restrictive lockdown” measures during the COVID pandemic and offered a word on the political hypocrisy she observed among California Democrats.
“This is Gavin Newsom’s California, where he orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with his lobbyist friends,” Jenner stated.
A campaign advisor told Axios that Jenner “is very socially liberal.”
“She’s running as someone that’s socially liberal and fiscally conservative,” the advisor said.
Jenner was a vocal supporter of Trump until 2018, when he reversed the transgender bathroom executive orders signed under the Obama administration.
“Certainly she has not seen eye-to-eye with [Trump] on a lot of things,” the adviser said. “I think that Caitlyn will talk to anyone, Democrat or Republican. Donald Trump is not going to be the deciding factor for the state of California.”
Jenner’s campaign website and WinRed donation page are scheduled to launch today.