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Caitlyn Jenner's campaign website.
Scott Steepleton, Editor
8:40 am PDT April 23, 2021

Longtime Republican Caitlyn Jenner made it official: the Malibu resident is running for governor.

While the election to recall Gavin Newsom, 53, has yet to be set, it is widely believed that backers of the effort submitted enough valid signatures to trigger a vote potentially making Democrat Newsom the second governor in state history to be booted from office.

On her website Friday, the 71-year-old former Olympic decathlete and reality TV star says, “California has been my home for nearly 50 years. I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality.”

“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.”

Jenner transitioned in 2015 and uses her celebrity status to work to make life better for trans people.

She backed Donald Trump early on, but came to differ with him over how she viewed some of his actions and their effects on the LGBTQ.

Three traditional Republicans say they should be the successor, should the recall happen: businessman John Cox; former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer; and Doug Ose, a former U.S. representative. Also in are porn actor Mary Carey, who ran against Davis in the 2003 recall, and the model and billboard star Angelyne.

Recall is a tool that has served Golden State voters a number of times to topple office holders who stray. The ballot has two questions:

  • Should the elected official be recalled?

  • If so, who should be elected as successor?According to the California Secretary of State’s office, since 1913, there have been 179 recall attempts of state elected officials in California. Ten recall efforts collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot and of those, the elected official was recalled in six instances.

Successful recall attempts include:

  • 1913 Sen. Marshall Black (R-Prog.); Herbert C. Jones (D-Prohib.) elected successor

  • 1914 Sen. Edwin E. Grant (D); Edwin L. Wolfe (R) elected successor

  • 1994 Assemblyman Paul Horcher (R); Gary Miller (R) elected successor

  • 1995 Assemblywoman Doris Allen (R); Scott Baugh (R) elected successor

  • 2018 Sen. Josh Newman (D); Ling Ling Chang (R) elected successor

The first governor to be recalled was Democrat Gray Davis, in 2003. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, was elected successor.

The Newsom recall petition cites the “highest taxes in our nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result” as some of the backers’ grievances. There’s also the sanctuary state status and Newsom’s failures to enforce immigration laws.

“He unilaterally overruled the will of the people regarding the death penalty,” the petition continues.

Then came the coronavirus and what many call Newsom’s Draconian lockdown — and his willingness to flout the rules that he ordered everyone else to follow. For example, he gathered at a restaurant, unmasked, indoors, with people outside his household when the rest of the state was barred from doing so.

Others also wondered why, at the beginning of the vaccine rollout, was it necessary for an elected official to stand near the first vaccine recipient in the state — like others in the room, someone not from his home — and, with a bare hand, hold up a vial of the vaccine?

Surely that vial would have been contaminated, therefore wasting what was being hailed as lifesaving shots for six people. Or was it just a prop vial? That possibility would make a photo op for an embattled politician all the more crass and potentially dangerous.

Newsom shut down churches (and lost at the Supreme Court); he shut down restaurants; he shut down nail salons.

His sweeping coronavirus crackdown, for a time, shut down the largest economy in the United States, a $3.2 trillion gross state product as of 2019.

If that wasn’t enough, recall backers say, he reopened the state by calling some people essential, others nonessential, based on their station. Going to the grocery store was essential; going to church was not.

Going to the corner store: nonessential. Going to the big-box store: essential.

Jenner doesn’t specifically go after Newsom on her website, instead saying, “California needs an honest leader with a clear vision.”

“Our campaign will be powered by everyday Californians who deserve leadership that is accountable to them, not the special interests in Sacramento.”

The Caitlyn for California store includes yard signs, bumper stickers, wine glasses, hats and T-shirts, with prices from $12 to $36.