Caitlyn Jenner announced Friday that she has filed the initial paperwork to become a candidate for California governor.
The 71-year-old longtime Republican will be joining the field of candidates hoping to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a likely recall election later this year.
“Californians want better and deserve better from their governor,” Jenner said in a press release announcing her bid for governor.
Jenner’s run comes nearly two decades after the ascendancy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, another Republican who used his Hollywood fame as a springboard to the state’s highest office in a 2003 recall election.
If the recall qualifies for the ballot, as expected, voters would be asked two questions: first, whether Newsom should be removed from office. The second would be a list of replacement candidates to choose from, if more than 50 per cent of voters support removing Newsom from office.
The effort has been largely fuelled by criticism of Newsom’s handling of the pandemic. Republicans who have announced their intention to run include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose and businessman John Cox, who lost to Newsom in the 2018 governor’s race.
Earlier this month, it was reported that former President Donald Trump‘s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, was helping Jenner assemble an inner circle for her campaign.
Jenner made headlines in recent years with her back-and-forth relationship with Trump, who remains broadly unpopular in California outside his GOP base. Trump lost the heavily Democratic state to Joe Biden in November by over 5 million votes.
Jenner supported Trump in 2016 but later criticized his administration’s reversal of a directive on transgender access to public school bathrooms. She also criticized Trump after he said transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.