As Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a likely recall race in November, Jenner is reportedly looking to follow in the Governator’s footsteps after he ousted Gray Davis in a recall race back in 2003.
Could history be about to repeat itself in California, as a beleaguered governor faces what’s looking more and more like a likely recall race in November and a celebrity finds themselves eyeing that gubernatorial seat?
That’s a story that began circulating on Tuesday, originated at Axios, as its being reported that former Olympic gold medalist and reality television star Caitlyn Jenner might just be considering a challenge to Governor Gavin Newsom in the fall.
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Local media and authorities are growing more confident that the governor will find himself facing a special recall election after what has been perceived as a poor handling of the early days of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and GOP outrage over his immigration and tax policies.
Now, it looks as if Jenner is “in serious conversations about putting her name on the ballot,” as reported by Deadline, who confirmed the initial story. Jenner, a lifelong Republican, would be challenging Newsom on the GOP side. TooFab has reached out to Jenner for comment.
According to the initial report, which cited three separate sources with “direct knowledge,” Jenner is being aided by former Trump Victory committee member for his 2020 run and GOP fundraiser Caroline Wren. The pair met through their involvement in the American Unity Fund, a GOP nonprofit focused on LGTBQ+ issues.
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A Jenner run would create a very similar scenario to what happened back in 2003 when then-Governor Gray Davis faced a recall only to find himself on the wrong end of one of the most shocking upsets in political history as action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger became the state’s unlikely leader.
Jenner faces a different challenge, though, as she’s been a controversial figure since coming out as transgender both within the GOP community as well as the LGBTQ+ community.
Making matters worse for her possible political aspirations, voters have been showing increasing support and satisfaction with Newsom’s handling of the pandemic in recent months, with his poll numbers increasing as the state announced a possibly June 15 date to consider itself fully opened (though still recommending masks).
One insider told Deadline that while Jenner has no shot at becoming governor of California, “she may get herself a new show on a streamer out of all this.” Once a staple on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Jenner quickly faded out of that spotlight following her transition, though she has continued as a sporadic presence.
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While she did land a short-lived reality show of her own, that has since ended as well. And with the Kardashians themselves shifting from E! to Hulu with a lucrative new streaming deal, there has been no overt indication that Jenner is to be involved at all.
At the same time, this is not the first time Jenner has spoken about her political aspirations and has been politically vocal for years. Most recently, she stepped back her support of Donald Trump over his administration’s attacks on transgender rights in a scathing 2018 op-ed in The Washington Post.
Earlier this year, Jenner said in a statement to Politico that she has no intentions of running for governor against Newsom, saying she “is very happy doing the work that she is doing to promote LGBT rights and spending time with her 18 grandchildren and 10 children.”
But she’s expressed interest in public office in the past, and particularly is seeking to improve the Republican party when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues and relations. That’s why she works so closely with the American Unity Fund, where she and Wren met.
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