Former Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner is reportedly considering getting into politics and actively « exploring » a run to become governor of California.
This emerges from a report by Axios in which three unnamed sources are cited « with direct knowledge of their considerations ».
Reporters Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene say Ms. Jenner is backed by a veteran Republican Party fundraiser, Caroline Wren, who previously worked for a fundraising committee supporting former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
Ms. Jenner first rose to fame as an athlete when she won gold in the 1976 Olympic decathlon. She then starred on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, a reality show that tracked her family’s life.
This may not sound like a great resume for politics, but keep in mind that this is the United States, the last of which was president to host The Apprentice.
Also, keep in mind that Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of California from 2003 to 2011.
The current governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, is expected to face a recall election later this year to see if he resigns.
California is one of the 20 US states that allow recalls. To trigger one, organizers need to collect enough signatures to get at least 12 percent of the turnout in the last gubernatorial election, which in this case means they need about 1.5 million signatures.
The organizers here, which include the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of California, believe they have already passed that mark as the public is unhappy with Mr. Newsom’s treatment of the coronavirus pandemic, immigration and other issues .
We are now waiting for the 2.1 million signatures they submitted last month to be verified. This will be done by the end of April. The recall elections will follow later in the year.
The voters are asked two questions. Should Mr. Newsom be removed first? And if so, who should replace him?
Only one person has ever become governor of the state through a recall, and it just so happens that that person was Mr Schwarzenegger, who replaced the recalled Democrat Gray Davis.
Speaking to Politico about Newsom’s recall efforts last month, Schwarzenegger said it felt similar to what it felt like leading up to his own 2003 victory.
“People work very hard. People make incredible sacrifices every day. It is very difficult to raise children and have a family and to overcome this challenge to make ends meet.
“And you feel like, ‘Wait a minute, (the state government) isn’t really doing everything for us that they promise. We work hard, but they don’t. They fail us every day.’ I see that as similarities between 2003. It’s the same mood. »
Mr Newsom has ridiculed the recall attempt as being carried out by right-wing extremists. Mr Schwarzenegger rejected the governor’s description of a « republican takeover », saying the opposition party was too incompetent to orchestrate such a thing.
« That’s the crazy thing here. When they say it’s a Republican takeover. Let me tell you, the Republicans couldn’t even get anyone voted. It’s ridiculous, » he said.
« The Republican Party doesn’t exist. These are the signatures of the common people who signed up.
« People are dissatisfied. It’s the way people blow off some steam and then they decide, ‘Do we want to get through or not?' »
Mr Schwarzenegger gave this interview before Ms Jenner’s name became known. Even so, it contained fairly relevant advice on how to run for office as a celebrity.
« Yes, fame helps just like when people say, ‘If you have money, you can buy a choice,' » he said.
« But there are a lot of elections in America that billionaires didn’t win. I think you also have to show that you are personally interested in serving the people.
« The reality is, in my case it worked to my advantage and I never saw the recall as a political issue.
« I’ve made it very clear to the people of California that I don’t see the Democrats as the enemy and the Republicans as the enemy. I said we have to work together to bring the people together. »
Incidentally, Mr Newsom announced today that California will lift most of its COVID restrictions starting June 15, although the state’s mask mandate remains in place.
« With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the page on our animal system and try to fully reopen the California economy, » he said.
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