On Friday, reality TV star, former Olympian, and political newbie Caitlyn Jenner officially filed paperwork to run for Governor of California against Gavin Newsom in the likely event of a recall election. The one-time vocal Donald Trump supporter joins three fellow Republicans in the race: businessman and failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox, former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, and former U.S. Rep Doug Ose, who also lost a bid for governor in 2018. Ex-porn star Mary Carey and L.A.’s own Barbie-pink billboard queen Angelyne—both of unknown political affiliation—round out the growing field of candidates who’ve filed paperwork challenge Newsom if a recall election takes place.
In a statement posted to Instagram, Jenner said, “California has been my home for nearly 50 years. 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.”
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She goes on to refer to herself as a “compassionate disrupter” and a “proven winner” who can put an end to Newsom’s “disastrous” reign.
“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, and socializing with their friends. Taxes are too high, killing jobs, hurting families, and putting an especially heavy burden on our most vulnerable people,” Jenner continues, echoing the sentiments of the Republicans who’ve spearheaded the recall campaign, and once again dropping a reference to Newsom’s much ballyhooed dinner at French Laundry last November.
Jenner may have officially withdrawn support of Trump in 2018—a response to the administration’s attempt to disenfranchise transgender people by narrowly defining gender, a move that would have affected her personally—but that didn’t stop the longtime Keeping Up with the Kardashians star from working with members of Trump’s inner circle on the campaign. According to Axios, former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale helped Jenner assemble a campaign team that includes Steven Cheung, a former UFC fighter who worked in communications for the Trump White House; Cheung also worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2003 recall campaign.
An adviser told Axios they hope Jenner will win by virtue of having greater name ID than Gavin Newsom. They also described her as “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” The recall election is expected to cost California taxpayers approximately $66 million.
"He's a fighter. He loves this county. He's doing great things for this country. And we got to win this election again, ladies and gentlemen!" – @danawhite x @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/uhQPmvQldq
— Steven Cheung (@CaliforniaPanda) February 21, 2020
The next big date coming up in the recall campaign is April 29, which is the last day county elections officials have to certify the results of signature verifications; after that, voters have 30 days to withdraw their signatures. Recall supporters reportedly gathered upward of 2.1 million signatures, and enough are expected to be verified for a recall ballot to be put to voters, asking a pair of questions: Should Newsom be recalled? Who should replace him?
In response to the effort, Newsom has launched a big-name anti-recall campaign. His spokesman, Dan Newman, dismissed the people behind the effort as “a ragtag crew of pro-Trump, anti-vaccine extremists, along with some ambitious Republican politicians who would like to be governor.
He continued, “I don’t think it’s something anyone wants. I’d be surprised if Californians wanted to spend the extra money and have another election the following year.”
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