Caitlyn Jenner Enters Ring to Unseat Newsom

With the words “I’m In!” the Olympian turned reality TV star added Republican gubernatorial candidate to her list of honorifics.

Caitlyn Jenner attends the Comedy Central Roast of Alec Baldwin in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Sept. 7, 2019. Jenner says she will run for governor of California. Jenner says in statement posted Friday, April 23, on Twitter that she has filed initial paperwork to run. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a likely recall election this year. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

(CN) — California’s recall free-for-all has officially kicked-off, with former Olympic gold medalist turned reality TV personality — and transgender rights activist — Caitlyn Jenner throwing her hat into the gubernatorial ring.

“I’m in!” reads the announcement on her newly created “Caitlyn for California” campaign website. “I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality,” Jenner says. “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.”

Her candidacy adds a celebrity flavor reminiscent of the 2003 race, which featured a motley crew of contenders such as television actor Gary Coleman, porn publisher Larry Flint, and adult film actress Mary Carey. 

Carey also announced her entry into the race this month. “I have big plans for California, and it is time for someone with a new attitude from outside of mainstream politics to lead,” Carey, whose real name is Mary Cook, said in an April 13 press release.

Other GOP candidates include businessman John Cox, whom Newsom defeated handily to win the governorship in 2018, former congressman Doug Ose and former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer.

A report by Axios, which broke the Jenner news on Friday, said her team includes a slew of GOP veteran operatives, including former Trump campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio, Trump communications talent Steven Cheung — who also worked on the 2003 Arnold Schwarzenegger campaign — and strategists Ryan Erwin and Tyler Deaton.

Axios also reported Jenner has gotten some help from Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale, though he doesn’t have a formal role in her campaign. 

Signatures are still being verified in the effort to recall Newsom, which launched on June 2020 and needs 1,495,709 valid signatures to happen this November.

The recall petition website highlights a litany of gripes, from the way Newsom has handled the Covid-19 pandemic to the state’s homelessness crisis, and — let’s not forget — his unmasked dinner party at the swanky restaurant the French Laundry at the height of the pandemic after telling Californians to stay home. 

It also lists the state’s restrictive gun laws, and sanctuary immigration policies, and crushingly high taxes on gas, water and housing.

Most political experts believe backers of the recall effort have enough signatures to get it on the ballot, but will ultimately be unsuccessful given the deepness of the blue Golden State.

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