CALIFORNIA — Former Olympic gold medalist and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner has filed initial paperwork to run for California governor and has launched a campaign website in a bid to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election.
“California has been my home for nearly 50 years," she wrote in a statement announcing her candidacy. "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."
"As Californians, we face a now-or-never opportunity to fundamentally fix our state before it’s too late," she continued. "Taking on entrenched Sacramento politicians and the special interests that fund them requires a fighter who isn’t afraid to do what is right."
Jenner said that the Golden State needs "a leader with a vision and the resolve to see it through" and pledged that her campaign will be one "of solutions, providing a roadmap back to prosperity to turn this state around and finally clean up the damage Newsom has done to this state."
Jenner, a longtime Republican, was critical of Newsom's lockdown efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic:“Small businesses have been devastated because of the over-restrictive lockdown. An entire generation of children have lost a year of education and have been prevented from going back to school, participating in activities, or socializing with their friends. Taxes are too high, killing jobs, hurting families, and putting an especially heavy burden on our most vulnerable people."
“This isn’t the California we know," she added. "This is Gavin Newsom’s California, where he orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with his lobbyist friends," referencing Newsom attending a birthday party at a restaurant in Napa County prior to the Thanksgiving holiday last year.
"The significance of this decision is not lost on me. The sacrifice is significant, but responsibility is great, and I can’t wait to lead, to help and most importantly to disrupt the status quo once again," she concluded.“I’m in!"
The news was first reported by Axios. The outlet also reported that Jenner has assembled a team of Republican operatives, including Tony Fabrizio, a top pollster on former President Donald Trump's 2016 and 2020 campaigns. Brad Parscale, the former Trump campaign manager and a personal friend of Jenner's, reportedly helped her assemble her campaign team, but does not plan to take an official title with the campaign.
Jenner was previously a Trump supporter until she broke with the now-former president due to his stance on transgender issues.
"The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president," she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in 2018. "The leader of our nation has shown no regard for an already marginalized and struggling community. He has ignored our humanity. He has insulted our dignity."
"It’s clear these policies have come directly from Trump, and they have been sanctioned, passively or actively, by the Republicans by whose continued support he governs," she continued. "My hope in him — in them — was misplaced, and I cannot support anyone who is working against our community."
Jenner is the biggest name to announce she's joining the fray in the recall election. Other candidates include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Rep. Doug Ose, and businessman John Cox.