Former Olympian and prominent transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner explores a California gubernatorial bid against Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, who faces a possible recall election later this year, according to people close to her reflection. She is currently bending over to run if an election is held, the people said.
Longtime Republican Ms Jenner is being advised by Brad Parscale, Donald J. Trump’s former campaign manager, according to a person familiar with their discussions. Mr Parscale is said to not be running Ms Jenner’s campaign, but guide her on who to hire for key roles.
Ms Jenner is also reportedly working with Caroline Wren, a prominent GOP fundraiser who was a senior adviser on Trump’s presidential campaign last year and whose name was on a permit for the events leading up to the riot on the 6th. January at the Capitol. According to Axios, Ms Wren connected with Ms Jenner through a Republican nonprofit working on LGBTQ issues.
The California Secretary of State is expected to announce soon that Newsom’s recall effort has officially qualified for an election; the organizers of the recall say they have exceeded the 1.5 million signatures required. Such an election would likely take place later in the year.
So far, the effort to replace Mr Newsom does not appear to reflect the 2003 recall election in California that ousted Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican. Despite criticism for Mr Newsom’s handling of the pandemic and the other controversies he has faced, a recent poll found that only 40% of voters in the state would support a governor’s recall.
Mr Newsom is also helped by the fact that no major Democrats have joined the race. Although Ms Jenner has her name recognition, she would be a first-time candidate, and other Republicans who are supposed to run are not seen as likely to generate much interest.
If she does come forward, Ms Jenner’s past ties to Mr Trump would likely complicate her candidacy, given her deep unpopularity in the state. She supported Mr Trump from the start when he ran for president, but withdrew his support in 2018 after his administration repeatedly attacked transgender rights.
Another person with ties to Mr. Trump’s world, Ric Grenell, who briefly served The acting director of national intelligence, Trump allies say, is considering running for governor.