Cool or crazy? That’s what Keeping Up With The Kardashians fans are wondering today after Caitlyn Jenner announced she is running for governor of California.
“I’m In!” Jenner declared. The transgender activist and reality TV star has announced her bid for the election, hoping to take current California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s place.
The recall of Gov. Newsom is moving forward and the recall committee has amassed over 2 million votes – half a million more than needed. Jenner hopes to fill the vacancy if Newsom leaves. The former Olympian filed the paperwork on April 23.
A press release posted to Twitter expressed Jenner’s hopes of returning California to its glory days. The openly transgender Republican said she has been a “compassionate disrupter” throughout her life, from “winning a gold medal at the Olympics to helping advance the movement of equality.”
“California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” Caitlyn 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. 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.”
Jenner’s run will likely happen. Gov. Newsom’s recall is imminent. Newsom has been criticized for California’s “highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result” a statement on the recall petition said. “[Newsom] has imposed sanctuary state status and fails to enforce immigration laws. He unilaterally overruled the will of the people regarding the death penalty.”
The recall petition has over 2 million signatures and once they are verified by the end of the month and after the state Finance Department produces a cost estimate for the election, a date will be set.
The ballot will ask voters two important questions. The first: Do you want to recall Gov. Newsom? The second: Who should replace him?
There is no limit to the number of candidates who can run to replace the recalled governor, and whoever earns the most votes wins. A similar event occurred in 2003 when Californians recalled Democratic Governor Gray Davis. Plenty of celebrity and novelty candidates rushed to get their names on the ballots but ultimately lost the win to Arnold Schwarzenegger who received 49 percent of the vote.
Caitlyn Jenner may be the first, but will likely be one in a long line of celebrities who bid for the Governor’s place. But she will probably be the only transgender Olympian to run.
Though Jenner’s candidacy will be historic for the LGBTQ+ community, many activists are hard-set on keeping her out of office. Equality California took to Twitter to express their dismay at the candidate’s history, saying that “Caitlyn Jenner spent years telling the LGBTQ+ community to trust Donald Trump. We saw how that turned out. Now she wants us to trust her?”
The activist group said that they “can’t wait to elect a trans governor of California,” but said they would take a “hard pass” on Jenner. The group is also not in favor of Newsom’s recall, using @StopRepRecall in the tweet.
“We can’t let that happen,” the group replied to its original tweet. “Governor Gavin Newsom is a pro-equality champion who has spent his career fighting for LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice. He’s been there for us, time and time again. Now it’s our turn to be there for him.”
Caitlyn Jenner is a cultural icon and leader for many LGBTQ+ people. She first rose to fame after winning gold during the 1970’s Olympics. She then became a household name after marrying into the Kardashian family, and she famously stepped into the spotlight in Keeping Up with the Kardashian. Jenner was married to Kris Jenner from 1991 to 2015, before coming out as transgender. Her children include Kendall Jenner, a supermodel, and Kylie, whose cosmetics empire helped her reach Forbes billionaire status.
Jenner endorsed former President Donald Trump in 2016 but recanted her decision two years later. “I was wrong” she announced in a 2018 Washington Post editorial. Jenner was also very vocal on KUWTK about being pro-gun at the time the episodes ran.
Jenner will be making an official announcement of her candidacy soon. She hopes to be the “honest leader with a clear vision” Sacramento needs.