Caitlyn Jenner announces she's running for governor of California

Caitlyn Jenner
(Image credit: Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

It's official: she's running.

Caitlyn Jenner, the reality TV star and former athlete, on Friday announced she has filed paperwork to run for governor of California. Her announcement confirmed an earlier report from Axios, and a Caitlyn for California campaign website was also unveiled.

"I have been a compassionate disrupter throughout my life, from representing the United States and winning a gold medal at the Olympics to helping advance the movement for equality," Jenner said, going on to describe herself as "a proven winner and the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom's disastrous time as governor."

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In her effort to oust California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in a recall election, Jenner is looking to follow in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who successfully replaced California's then-governor, Gray Davis (D), in a recall election in 2003. In Jenner's announcement, she criticized the state's "over-restrictive" COVID-19 lockdown and taxes that are "too high."

According to Axios, Jenner's team includes Tony Fabrizio, a pollster who worked on former President Donald Trump's 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, as well as former Trump White House staffer Steven Cheung, who also worked on Schwarzenegger's 2003 recall campaign. A Jenner campaign adviser told Axios she'll be running as "someone that's socially liberal and fiscally conservative."

Jenner is a Republican and in the past expressed support for Trump, but she later said in a critical 2018 op-ed she was wrong to think he would help transgender people in office, writing, "The trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president." The Jenner adviser told Axios, "Certainly she has not seen eye-to-eye with [Trump] on a lot of things." Brad Parscale, Trump's former campaign manager, reportedly gave Jenner advice on setting up her campaign.

A formal campaign announcement, Jenner's Friday statement said, will "follow in the coming weeks."

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