Caitlyn Jenner is running to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom in likely recall election (2023)

Former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner became one of the highest-profile people to enter California’s expected recall election when she announced Friday that she is launching a bid to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Jenner’s candidacy is expected to be an uphill battle, but the Republican-led challenge to Newsom’s tenure has received a boost in recent months thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic: first, as the recall campaign was extended because of the virus, and then after Newsom violated his own public health mandates by attending a maskless, indoor dinner party in November.

A recall election isn’t a sure thing yet, but it’s looking extremely likely, as Newsom opponents have gathered more than 2.1 million signatures supporting the effort. Not all of those signatures will prove valid — at least 266,000 or so aren’t, according to the California Secretary of State — but it takes fewer than 1.5 million to trigger a recall.

“I am a proven winner and the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom’s disastrous time as governor,” Jenner, a Republican, said in a statement Friday. “Californians want better and deserve better from their governor.”

I’m in! California is worth fighting for. Visit https://t.co/a1SfOAMZQ3 to follow or donate today. #RecallNewsom pic.twitter.com/9yCck3KK4D

— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) April 23, 2021

According to a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, only about 40 percent of California voters support a recall vote, and Newsom has launched a full-fledged “Stop the Republican Recall” campaign to oppose the effort.

(Video) Caitlyn Jenner Files to Run for California Governor as Gavin Newsom Faces Recall

Jenner has criticized Newsom for “over-restrictive lockdowns” and high taxes, and also hit the governor for attending a dinner party with lobbyists during the height of the pandemic last year.

“This isn’t the California we know,” Jenner said in her Friday statement. “This is Gavin Newsom’s California, where he orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with his lobbyist friends.”

According to Axios, which first reported Jenner’s campaign announcement Friday, several former Trump campaign officials, including campaign manager Brad Parscale and pollster Tony Fabrizio, are already on board with Jenner’s campaign, although Parscale isn’t expected to take on a formal role.

Jenner, who is transgender, previously supported Trump, even appearing at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. She publicly walked back her support in October 2018 in response to Trump administration attacks on trans Americans.

But a Jenner adviser told Axios Friday that, in a recall election, Jenner would run “as someone that’s socially liberal and fiscally conservative” and steer away from the label of “Trump Republican.“

“This will be a campaign of solutions,” Jenner said Friday, “providing a roadmap back to prosperity to turn this state around and finally clean up the damage Newsom has done to this state.”

Advisers also say that Jenner, who starred on the reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, will benefit from substantial name recognition, according to Axios. Jenner first rose to fame as a decathlete, winning Olympic gold medals in the 1970s, and renewed her visibility as part of the Kardashian media empire.

(Video) Caitlyn Jenner Takes on Gavin Newsom in the California Recall Election | The Daily Show

But celebrity gossip site TMZ has reported that Jenner’s famous family members will not campaign on her behalf, in part because of political differences. And although Jenner renounced her support of Trump, at least one prominent LGBTQ rights organization has come out against her candidacy, too.

Jenner “spent years telling the #LGBTQ+ community to trust Donald Trump. We saw how that turned out. Now she wants us to trust her?” the organization Equality California tweeted Friday. “Hard pass.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted a longstanding recall effort

Recall efforts are common in the 19 states that allow them, but as Vox’s Jerusalem Demsas has explained, they’re not often successful. In Newsom’s case, however, the pandemic — and his ill-advised dinner at a high-end Napa Valley restaurant in the midst of it — have landed him in a tight spot.

Although the recall effort itself, which was filed on February 21, 2020, predates the widespread Covid-19 crisis in the US, the deadline to collect signatures was extended by a judge in November last year, and Newsom’s apparently maskless dinner at French Laundry the same month gave it a boost.

As Demsas reported, “Newsom’s hypocrisy and decision to dine at a $350-per-person establishment while so many of the state’s residents suffered from the economic downturn and residents were being warned against holiday gatherings with family was a mobilizing moment for the recall effort.”

EXCLUSIVE: We've obtained photos of Governor Gavin Newsom at the Napa dinner party he's in hot water over. The photos call into question just how outdoors the dinner was. A witness who took photos tells us his group was so loud, the sliding doors had to be closed. 10pm on @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/gtOVEwa864

(Video) BREAKING: Caitlyn Jenner ANNOUNCES Run For Governor Of California In GOP To Replace Newsom In Recall

— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 18, 2020

Despite Jenner’s announcement Friday, however, the recall isn’t yet set in stone. Signatures are still being verified, and although counties face an April 29 deadline to report how many signatures they received, voters will have a chance to remove their signatures if they choose, according to CalMatters.

Still, at least 1.2 million valid signatures have been received so far, meaning that a recall is expected to go forward.

If it does, Californians will have to answer two questions: Do they want to recall Newsom, and, if so, who do they want to replace him?

Actually removing Newsom from office takes a simple majority of voters, and winning the election to replace him takes only a plurality, according to CalMatters — but there’s no limit to how many candidates can run. This could lead to a massive, chaotic field of challengers.

In addition to Jenner, previous Republican gubernatorial nominee John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018, is in the running, as is former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, also a Republican.

In 2003, California voters recalled Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat. Out of a field of more than 100, bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger won the election to replace him with less than 50 percent of the vote; he eventually served two terms as a Republican governor.

“It’s an expensive, distracting pain in the ass for Californians if it happens,” Newsom spokesperson Dan Newman told Vox last month. “In the Davis recall we had 135 candidates and it was a total circus. Some people think we could have 10 times as many candidates this time around.”

(Video) Jenner running for change in California recall bid

But as Demsas points out, the California electorate looks much different than in 2003. The state is more heavily Democratic, and Newsom’s favorability rating has hovered well above where Davis’s stood at the time of his recall. As a result, pollsters suggest that Newsom stands a good chance of riding out this recall campaign.

Things are also looking up in California from a public health perspective: The state has among the lowest rates of new Covid-19 infections in the country, and more than 40 percent of Californians have received at least one vaccine dose.

But with a recall effort already rolling, Jenner’s entrance into the race marks another wrinkle in Newsom’s hectic tenure as governor — and her celebrity could make for a more difficult fight.

Our goal this month

Now is not the time for paywalls. Now is the time to point out what’s hidden in plain sight (for instance, the hundreds of election deniers on ballots across the country), clearly explain the answers to voters’ questions, and give people the tools they need to be active participants in America’s democracy. Reader gifts help keep our well-sourced, research-driven explanatory journalism free for everyone. By the end of September, we’re aiming to add 5,000 new financial contributors to our community of Vox supporters. Will you help us reach our goal by making a gift today?

FAQs

Is the recall election for Gavin Newsom? ›

The 2021 California gubernatorial recall election was a special recall election that began in August 2021 and concluded on September 14, 2021, in which California voters chose not to recall incumbent Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, elected for the term January 2019 to January 2023.

Who is the only governor to be officially recalled by the voters of California? ›

(born December 26, 1942) is an American attorney and former politician who served as the 37th governor of California from 1999 to 2003. In 2003, only a few months into his second term, Davis was recalled and removed from office. He is the second state governor in U.S. history to have been recalled.

How old is Caitlyn Jenner? ›

What is California recall ballot? ›

2021 CA Gubernatorial Recall Election

The recall ballot will ask two questions: 1) do you want to recall Governor Newsom? and 2) If the governor is recalled, who do you want to replace him? If 50% or more vote NO, the governor would remain in office.

How many states can recall their governors? ›

However, it did not pass. Only two governors have ever been successfully recalled. In 1921, Governor Lynn Frazier of North Dakota was recalled during a dispute about state-owned industries. In 2003, Governor Gray Davis of California was recalled over the state budget.

What is a recall election and how does it work? ›

Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives.

How many votes needed to recall governor? ›

To qualify a recall of the Governor for the ballot, proponents need a minimum of 1,495,709 valid petition signatures. This is equal to 12 percent of the votes cast for the office of Governor in 2018, which is the last time the office was on the ballot.

What is the power of recall? ›

Recall is a power reserved to the voters that allows the voters, by petition, to demand the removal of an elected official.

How long was Arnold Schwarzenegger governor of California? ›

Arnold Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American actor, film producer, businessman, retired professional bodybuilder and politician who served as the 38th governor of California between 2003 and 2011. As of 2022, he is the most recent Republican governor of California.

Does Caitlyn Jenner have a partner? ›

Caitlyn Jenner

Are Kris and Caitlyn Jenner still friends? ›

Kris Jenner is "still friends" with ex Caitlyn Jenner. The 66-year-old matriarch was married to Caitlyn - who was known as Bruce Jenner before transitioning into a woman - from 1991 until 2015 and admitted that they still see each other and that things have "settled down" since the divorce.

What is political referendum? ›

(c) "Referendum" is the power of the electorate to approve or reject a legislation through an election called for the purpose.

What is a referendum question? ›

A referendum (PL: referendums or referenda) is a direct vote by the electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a representative. This may result in the adoption of a new policy or specific law, or the referendum may be only advisory.

How can a governor be removed from office? ›

The term of governor's office is normally five years but it can be terminated earlier by: Dismissal by the president at whose pleasure the governor holds office. Dismissal of governors without valid reason is not permitted.

Can US senators be recalled? ›

You want to know whether voters in a state can recall a member of the United States Congress. No, they cannot. Any attempt by a state to recall a member of Congress is prohibited by the Federal Constitution.

Who was the first governor to be recalled? ›

Davis's recall at the time was only the second gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history. The first governor recall occurred in 1921, when North Dakota's Lynn J. Frazier was recalled over a dispute about state-owned industries, and was replaced by Ragnvald A.

What is the name for a popular vote to approve or reject a law? ›

The people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution.

What do you mean by recall system? ›

Overview. A recall is a method of removing or correcting products that are in violation of laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What is voting by secret ballot? ›

Without revealing the votes to anyone, the voter folds the ballot paper in half and places it in a sealed box. This box is later emptied for counting. An aspect of secret voting is the provision of a voting booth to enable the voter to write on the ballot paper without others being able to see what is being written.

How many recalls are in California? ›

Since 1913, there have been 179 recall attempts of state elected officials in California.

What does runoff election mean? ›

Runoff voting can refer to: Two-round system, a voting system used to elect a single winner, whereby only two candidates from the first round continue to the second round, where one candidate will win. Instant-runoff voting, an electoral system whereby voters rank the candidates in order of preference.

How does CA governor election work? ›

Governors are elected by popular ballot and serve terms of four years, with a limit of two terms, if served after November 6, 1990.

How is an initiative different from a recall? ›

In 1911, California voters approved the constitutional processes of initiative, referendum, and recall. Through these processes, voters can adopt a change in law (an initiative), disapprove a law passed by the Legislature (a referendum), or remove an elected official from office (a recall).

Why is recall important? ›

Recall is more important where Overlooked Cases (False Negatives) are more costly than False Alarms (False Positive). The focus in these problems is finding the positive cases. Precision is more important where False Alarms (False Positives) are more costly than Overlooked Cases (False Negatives).

What is the difference between an initiative and referendum? ›

Eligible initiative measures will become qualified for the ballot on the 131st day prior to the next Statewide General Election unless withdrawn by the proponents prior to its qualification by the Secretary of State. A referendum can qualify for the ballot up to 31 days before an election.

Who was the youngest governor of California? ›

At 36, Brown was elected to his first term as governor in 1974, making him the youngest California Governor in 111 years. In 1978, he won his second term. During his governorship, Brown ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976 and 1980.

How much does Arnold Schwarzenegger make a year? ›

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most iconic figures in the world. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a very hardcore actor who has done some very famous movies like Terminator.
...
Arnold Schwarzenegger Net Worth.
NameArnold Schwarzenegger
Net Worth (2022)$480 Million
ProfessionActor
Monthly Income And Salary$4 Million +
Yearly Income$42 Million +
1 more row

Is Schwarzenegger vegan? ›

If you want to talk about things in black or white, no, Arnold Schwarzenegger is not strictly vegan. He has chosen to get the majority of his nutrition from a plant-based diet and is only eating meat occasionally. On top of that, he has cut out beef and cow's milk completely.

Who is the youngest billionaire? ›

As a kid, Alexandr Wang was a math whiz who liked participating in national math and coding competitions.

Who is richer Kim or Kylie? ›

Now, Kim Kardashian is the richest Kardashian among all of her sisters, including Kylie Jenner.

Who is the richest actor in the world? ›

As of August 2022, Jerry Seinfeld is the richest actor in the world with a net worth of $950 million. Who is the 2nd richest actor in the world? Tyler Perry with a net worth of $800 million.

Does Caitlyn Jenner still talk to her family? ›

Caitlyn has admitted she no longer talks to her stepdaughters, but her daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner have always been there. Kendall told PEOPLE in 2020 that their relationship “grew,” when her dad came out. “When my dad came out as transgender, our relationship grew,” she said.

Who is Caitlyn Jenner's new wife? ›

CAITLYN Jenner's "girlfriend" Sophia Hutchins weighed in on Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson's first Instagram photo. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians alum and Saturday Night Live star have been linked since October 2021.

Is Caitlyn Jenner in a relationship with Sophia? ›

Caitlyn Jenner and Sophia Hutchins hit it off in 2017

Plans of engagement and having children swirled during the earlier days of Cait and Sophia living together but in 2022, their relationship hasn't developed farther than being housemates and great friends, judging by Instagram.

How did Kris Jenner feel about Caitlyn? ›

While talking to editor Kristina O'Neill for WSJ Magazine's The One last year, Kris confirmed that she and Caitlyn were "very respectful" with each other because "she's the father of two of my kids, and so that speaks volumes."

Do any of the Kardashians speak to Caitlyn? ›

Though Caitlyn has been estranged from several members of the Kardashian family in recent years, she seemingly mended fences with her ex-wife, Kris, in an April 2021 episode of KUWTK. In the E! series, Kris is seen giving Caitlyn advice on starting her own YouTube channel.

Who is the vice governor of California? ›

Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis was sworn in as the 50th Lieutenant Governor of California by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7th, 2019. She is the first woman elected Lt. Governor of California.

Who was governor before Newsom? ›

List of governors
No.GovernorTerm in office
37Gray DavisJanuary 4, 1999 – November 17, 2003 (recalled)
38Arnold SchwarzeneggerNovember 17, 2003 – January 3, 2011 (term limited)
39Jerry BrownJanuary 3, 2011 – January 7, 2019 (term limited)
40Gavin NewsomJanuary 7, 2019 – Incumbent
64 more rows

What does a referendum do? ›

A referendum is when voters are asked to answer 'yes' or 'no' to a particular question or questions. Voting in referendums is compulsory for enrolled voters.

What's meaning of referendum? ›

a vote in which all the people in a country or an area are asked to give their opinion about or decide an important political or social question: Is it more democratic to hold a referendum, rather than let the government alone decide?

What is a yes or no vote called? ›

In a roll-call vote, each senator votes “yea” or “nay” as his or her name is called by the clerk, who records the votes on a tally sheet. In most cases a simple majority is required for a measure to pass.

Does a referendum change law? ›

In the politics of the United States, the process of initiatives and referendums allow citizens of many U.S. states to place new legislation, or to place legislation that has recently been passed by a legislature on a ballot for a popular vote.

Is a referendum legally binding? ›

Referendums are normally not legally binding, so legally the Government can ignore the results; for example, even if the result of a pre-legislative referendum were a majority of "No" for a proposed law, Parliament could pass it anyway, because Parliament is sovereign.

Is a referendum vote binding? ›

Yes. The results of the Referendum must be carried out by parliament and are legally binding.

What happens when a governor is recalled in California? ›

What happens after the recall election? If a majority of the voters vote “yes” on the first question, then the recall is successful and Governor Newsom will removed from office. The replacement candidate who gets the most votes is elected for the remainder of the term of office (through January 2, 2023).

Who is the government of California 2022? ›

November 8, 2022
NomineeGavin NewsomBrian Dahle
PartyDemocraticRepublican
1 more row

When was recall created? ›

Since 1913, there have been 179 recall attempts of state elected officials in California. Eleven recall efforts collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot and of those, the elected official was recalled in six instances.

What is the power of recall? ›

Recall is a power reserved to the voters that allows the voters, by petition, to demand the removal of an elected official.

Did Arnold Schwarzenegger get recalled as governor? ›

The 2003 California gubernatorial recall election was a special election permitted under California state law. It resulted in voters replacing incumbent Democratic Governor Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. The recall effort spanned the latter half of 2003.

What does runoff election mean? ›

Runoff voting can refer to: Two-round system, a voting system used to elect a single winner, whereby only two candidates from the first round continue to the second round, where one candidate will win. Instant-runoff voting, an electoral system whereby voters rank the candidates in order of preference.

How many terms can a governor serve in California? ›

Election and oath of Governor

Governors are elected by popular ballot and serve terms of four years, with a limit of two terms, if served after November 6, 1990.

Is Arnold Schwarzenegger still the governor of California? ›

Arnold Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American actor, film producer, businessman, retired professional bodybuilder and politician who served as the 38th governor of California between 2003 and 2011. As of 2022, he is the most recent Republican governor of California.

What Does Peace and Freedom Party mean? ›

It is a strong advocate of environmentalism, aboriginal rights, rights to sexuality, government-funded health care, a woman's right to an abortion, public education, subsidized housing, and a socialist-run economy.

What does a governor do? ›

Governors, all of whom are popularly elected, serve as the chief executive officers of the fifty-five states, commonwealths, and territories of the United States. As state managers, Governors are responsible for implementing state laws and overseeing the operation of the state executive branch.

How many Republican governors are there? ›

In the United States, a governor is the chief executive officer of a state or a territory. As of June 2022, there are 28 states with Republican governors and 22 states with Democratic governors.

Can a US senator be removed from office? ›

Article I, section 5 of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member." Since 1789 the Senate has expelled only 15 members.

Can US senators be recalled? ›

You want to know whether voters in a state can recall a member of the United States Congress. No, they cannot. Any attempt by a state to recall a member of Congress is prohibited by the Federal Constitution.

How many signatures can be recalled? ›

It must include the name and title of the officer to be recalled, cannot exceed 200 words, and must have the names, residence addresses, including street number, city, and Zip Code, and signatures of at least 10 proponents, or equal to the number of signatures required to have been filed on the nomination paper of the ...

Videos

1. Jenner bids for Calif. gov amid recall challenge
(Associated Press)
2. Caitlyn Jenner announces run for California governor in recall election
(Los Angeles Times)
3. Caitlyn Jenner Running for Governor of California | Gavin Newsom Recall reaches 1.9 million
(Another Conservative Commentator)
4. Caitlyn Jenner Holds Her 1st News Conference In California Recall Election Run
(CBS Sacramento)
5. Politicos Assess Caitlyn Jenner's Chances of Becoming Governor
(KPIX CBS SF Bay Area)
6. Source: Caitlyn Jenner could possibly run for California governor
(KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas)
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