Jenner provides movie star, inquiries to California governor race | U.S. Politics
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Republican Caitlyn Jenner said Friday she would run for governor of California and inject a celebrity surge in an emerging campaign that threatens to oust Democratic governor Gavin Newsom from office.
Jenner – an Olympic heroine, reality TV personality and transgender rights activist – said in a statement posted on Twitter and an accompanying website that she had submitted initial papers to apply for the Post.
Newsom, a first-term Democrat, faces a likely recall election this year, though officials are still reviewing the petition’s signatures required to qualify the proposal for voting. Several other Republicans have also announced plans.
The race had not attracted a nationally known competitor before the entry of 71-year-old Jenner, who is well known from the shows “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and the spin-off “I Am Cait”. However, it raises a myriad of questions about its ability to run potentially the most populous state in the nation.
She has not been tested as a candidate and little is known about her positions on critical issues facing the state, from the coronavirus pandemic to managing the economy. She has ties to former President Donald Trump, who remains largely unpopular in California outside of his GOP base, as well as his former political activists.
Jenner credits herself with promoting the equality movement, but LGBTQ advocacy group Equality California said she would oppose her candidacy, citing her ties to Trump and Republicans who have tried to undermine transgender rights.
With her notoriety and publicity skills, she could overshadow other GOP competitors, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former US Representative Doug Ose, and businessman John Cox, who is in the running of the Governor lost to Newsom in 2018.
In a statement, Jenner called herself “a proven winner” and the only candidate “who can put an end to Gavin Newsom’s disastrous governor.”
“I’m in,” she wrote on her website. “In the past decade we’ve seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that puts politics above progress and special interests above people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision. “
It was noteworthy that their announcement did not include a video, which is common with political campaign launches. Instead, in its written statement, it only vaguely referred to tax cuts, a “roadmap back to prosperity” and the assumption of special interests.
Your campaign didn’t respond to a request for an on-camera interview.
She described herself as “economically conservative, socially progressive” in an interview with People magazine last year.
Their run would come nearly two decades after the rise of Arnold Schwarzenegger, another Republican who used his Hollywood fame as a stepping stone to California’s highest office in a 2003 recall election.
If the callback is expected to qualify for the vote, voters will be asked two questions: First, whether Newsom should be removed from office. The second would be a list of replacement candidates to choose from if more than 50% of voters support Newsom’s removal from office.
The effort was fueled in large part by criticism of Newsom’s handling of the pandemic, which closed schools and closed thousands of businesses.
If the recall qualifies, Newsom would be forced to hold off rivals amid a pandemic that has cost the state millions of jobs, gutted state budgets and changed the lives of nearly 40 million people.
He was also hit by the aftermath of a multi-billion dollar state employment agency scandal when he endured a public disgrace last fall of dining with friends and lobbyists at an upscale San Francisco Bay Area restaurant while telling residents they were should stay at home for security reasons.
However, recent polls showed Newsom would keep its seat, and the bad mood among the public could change as more schools and businesses reopen. California is also likely to receive billions of dollars in federal recovery funds that Newsom will spend that it could use to its political advantage.
Jenner has made headlines in recent years with her ties to Trump, who lost to Joe Biden in the state by over 5 million votes in November.
Jenner supported Trump in 2016 but later criticized his administration’s reversal of a policy on transgender people’s access to public school baths. She also criticized Trump after he said transgender people were not allowed to serve in the U.S. military.
In a statement, Newsom campaign spokesman Dan Newman said, “We always knew the … recall would be a ridiculous circus full of Trump supporters.”
The team advising Jenner includes Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale and GOP fundraiser Caroline Wren, who worked on Trump’s campaign.
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