Caitlyn Jenner Announces Run For California Governor

Caitlyn Jenner speaks on a panel in Cambridge in 2017. Photo by Chris Boland /

By Natalie Luna

On Friday, April 23, Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist, socialite, and member of the Kardashians, announced that she will be running for governor of California in the potential recall election for Governor Gavin Newsom. 

“I’m in! California is worth fighting for,” she tweeted Friday morning.

Celebrities running for office is nothing new in the state of California; voters  have previously elected actors, Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Jenner’s bid is one of the most high profile campaigns by a transgender person in the country. She has been interested in politics before this, however. Jenner stated in 2017 to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show that she was considering entering US politics to promote LGBT issues.

Jenner has been a vocal critic of Governor Newsom, especially in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has been unpopular with many throughout California.  

“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,” she stated in one of her recent Twitter posts.

“We always knew the Republican recall would be a ludicrous circus full of Trump-supporters, which only reinforces how much Californians appreciate Governor Newsom’s competent compassionate experienced leadership during an unprecedented series of crises,” Newsom’s campaign spokesman Dan Newman said to CNN in response to Jenner’s announcement.

 Officially, it is still uncertain if a recall vote will occur. However, recall proponents say they have collected 2.1 million signatures. Organizers have said for months that they have exceeded the 1.5 million signatures needed to trigger such an election. Although a date has not been set, it would most likely be held this fall.

Ultimately, as Jenner builds a campaign staff, as a Republican, she is reportedly surrounded by some Trump loyalists, including a fundraiser associated with the rally that preceded the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

She endorsed former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election but later renounced and took back her support, writing in an editorial 2018 Washington Post, “I was wrong. The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president.”.

If she were to win, Jenner would be one of a small group of transgender Americans to hold such a high-profile role.