There has been a lot of talk that he might run, but on Friday, Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete turned actor turned motivational speaker turned reality TV star turned “trans” activist, Caitlyn (formally Bruce) Jenner, made it official by announcing that he is running for Governor of California in the 2021 recall election.
"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. As Californians, we face a now-or-never opportunity to fundamentally fix our state before it’s too late.”
But Jenner’s path isn't set in cement quite yet. There is a petition to recall Governor Gavin Newsom ... a movement that has gained steam in the wake of the pandemic. If the recall movement qualifies for the ballot, California voters will be asked 2 questions. Should Newsom be recalled? If a majority of voters say yes, then the second question is on the table. Who do you want to replace him? That's where Caitlyn's name will land.
Several recall attempts were launched against Newsom early in his tenure, though they failed to gain much traction. On February 21, 2020, a recall petition was introduced by Orrin Heatlie, a deputy sheriff in Yolo County, California. The petition said Newsom favored illegal immigrants; that California had high homelessness, high taxes, and low quality of life; and other grievances. It was approved for circulation on June 10, 2020, by the California Secretary of State.
The recall effort gained momentum in June 2020 as a result of his response to the pandemic. Some reasons included being too slow to re-open from lockdowns, or being too strict with lockdowns. The petition received the support of California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Milan Patterson and former Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer.
In January 2021, the number of signatures for the recall campaign reached one million. It needs 1,495,709 valid signatures before March 17, 2021, to be on the ballot. The proponents' goal is to get two million signatures. By February 2021, the recall campaign reported having 1.3 million signatures, including about 300,000 from registered Democrats. Faulconer and Cox have both announced their intentions to run in the event of a recall election. On February 12, 2021, the organizers of the campaign announced that they surpassed the required 1.5 million signature threshold needed to trigger a recall election against Newsom. As of February 5, nearly 800,000 of the signatures gathered were verified. By March 11, they announced that they had gathered over two million signatures. County voter registrars have until late April to finish reviewing the petitions.
Jenner certainly has an edge because of his name alone. As some may recall, in 1967, a
ham actor from the gold age of Hollywood named Ronald Reagan became Governor of CA (1967-1975). Then in 2003, actor (and fellow Republican), Arnold Schwarzenegger, became the "Governator" (2003-2011). I can easily see Caitlyn Jenner as CA’s first “Transernor”.