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Caitlyn Jenner enters California governor race as a 'compassionate disruptor'

Joey Nolfi
·5 min read
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Reality television star, Masked Singer competitor, and Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner will run for governor in the state of California.

Amid calls for a special 2021 gubernatorial contest, the 71-year-old announced Friday that she's aiming to "recall" the current governor, Gavin Newsom, in her bid for office in the state that she's lived in for 50 years.

"I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality," the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star's campaign site reads. "But for the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision."

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Though she has no political track record to her credit outside of vocal support for conservative issues (and a vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, which she has since said she regrets), Jenner aims to shake up the state's political identity as a "compassionate disrupter [sic]" who has advanced "the movement for equality" as arguably the most famous transgender woman in the world. She says that attitude will help her defeat "entrenched Sacramento politicians" and their "special interests" — particularly Newsom's "disastrous time as governor."

Among issues Jenner's initial announcement touched on were small business struggles, economic prosperity, education, taxes, and the coronavirus pandemic. She slammed Newsom's approach to containing the outbreak, calling his guidelines "over-restrictive."

Caitlyn for California

"This isn't the California we know," she wrote. "This is Gavin Newsom's California, where he orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with his lobbyist friends."

Jenner's political views have long come into question during her time in the public eye. She drew intense criticism after it was revealed that she voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton.

Her current gubernatorial goals divided Twitter, with one user calling the move "incredibly dumb," but for a state that once elected actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan to the office of governor, that means she'll "probably win." Another, however, said that the news brought her overwhelming "joy."

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"Here's the deal: Yes, I did vote for Trump, but here's the deal-breaker with the Republican party and the deal-breaker is you mess with my community, you do the wrong thing with my community, you don't give us equality and a fair shot, I'm coming after you," Jenner said in a 2017 interview with Diane Sawyer.

She continued: "It comes to all equality issues for the entire LGBT community, okay?" Jenner continues. "What we need is we need federal guidance, just like the previous administration said that it was okay to serve as a trans person in the military. We have front line people, okay, and I'm talking marines, trans guys, marines on the front line fighting for our country. I'm trying to get, especially the Republican party, to make a change."

Jenner has promised a more formal announcement for her political aspirations in the weeks to come. See the dividedd social media response to Jenner's initial statement below.

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Hear more on all of this weekend's must-see picks, plus what SNL's Cecily Strong is watching, in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

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