RECALL ELECTION

Caitlyn Jenner announces bid for California governor

The former Olympic athlete and reality TV star will run as a Republican.

In Summary

• A recall election in the state could be confirmed this month after a petition against current governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, reached the number required to trigger a vote.

• Ms Jenner described herself as a "proven winner" in her statement, adding that she is the "only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom's disastrous time as a governor".

Caitlyn Jenner has announced she has filed the paperwork to run for California governor.
Caitlyn Jenner has announced she has filed the paperwork to run for California governor.
Image: REUTERS

Caitlyn Jenner has announced she has filed the paperwork to run for California governor.

The former Olympic athlete and reality TV star will run as a Republican in the Democratic stronghold state.

A recall election in the state could be confirmed this month after a petition against current governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, reached the number required to trigger a vote.

Voters would be asked if they want Mr Newsom to stay or another candidate.

According to the Axios news site, Ms Jenner has put together a team that includes some of former President Donald Trump's advisers.

"Californians want better and deserve better from the governor," a statement from Ms Jenner said, confirming the news on her Twitter account on Friday.

"For too long, career politicians have over-promised and under-delivered. We need a leader with the vision and resolve to see it through," she added.

Ms Jenner promised that her campaign will be one of "solutions" and provide a "roadmap back to prosperity to turn this state around".

She added that she will formally launch her campaign at a later date.

Should the recall election go ahead, it would be the fourth governor recall in US history.

Mr Newsom has faced criticism for his handling of the pandemic. As infections started to fall, he came under criticism from business owners for still enforcing restrictions.

Ms Jenner described herself as a "proven winner" in her statement, adding that she is the "only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom's disastrous time as a governor".

Who is Caitlyn Jenner?

Caitlyn Jenner has been described as the highest-profile American to come out as transgender.

She announced she was transgender in 2015 in an interview with broadcaster Diane Sawyer on ABC, and said the star said she had been wrestling with her gender since childhood.

The former athlete won a gold medal at the Montreal Games in 1976.

Before transitioning, she was married to Kris Jenner and the pair had two daughters, Kendall and Kylie. The family were stars of the hit reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Caitlyn Jenner said her step-daughter Kim Kardashian had been a big supporter of her transitioning.

California's famous governors

California is not a stranger to celebrities running for governor.

Arnold Schwarzenegger won the 2003 recall election, beating adult film star Mary Carey and former child actor Gary Coleman.

Seen as the Republicans' new poster boy at the time, Schwarzenegger was tipped as a possible future president but his Austrian birthplace was a barrier, as the constitution states that candidates must be US-born.

He stepped down in 2011, after seven years in office. Since then, California's governorship has been held exclusively by Democrats.

In 1966, former actor Ronald Reagan won the governorship of California and he won re-election four years later. Prior to going into politics, he had appeared in more than 50 films, eventually becoming president of the Screen Actors Guild.

But his biggest role was yet to come. In 1980, he was elected US president, serving two four-year terms.