Caitlyn Jenner is officially running for governor of California backed by team of ex-Trump staffers

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner will run for governor of California, she has confirmed, with her bid reportedly bolstered by a team of ex-Trump allies.

The Olympian and reality television star brought an end to weeks-long speculation by officially announcing her bid to unseat incumbent Democratic governor Gavin Newsom in a recall election Friday (23 April).

“California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” Jenner said. “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 social interests over people.”

Jenner described herself as a “compassionate disrupter”. “From representing the United States and winning a gold medal at the Olympics to helping advance the movement for equality,” she added. “I am a proved winner and the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom’s disastrous time as governor.”

Her initial news release made no mention of party affiliation. Jenner is a long-time Republican, and her campaign team is reportedly heaving with former Trump campaign advisers, according to Axios.

Jenner has reportedly roped in an array of GOP operatives, fund-raisers and pollsters for her campaign, many of whom worked with Trump on his 2016 and 2020 election bids.

These include Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign communications hand  Steven Cheung and veteran pollster with decades of presidential campaign experience, Tony Fabrizio.

Her advisers are optimistic. The race is “totally winnable” for the 71-year-old, they said.

Caitlyn Jenner would be ‘honest’ governor for California

While Caitlyn Jenner’s bid for governor of California will reportedly distance itself from former president Donald Trump, the star shares similar views on some tinderbox issues.

California’s lockdown, Jenner said in her announcement, was “over-restrictive”. She also lamented the state’s “too high” taxes.

“Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision”, Jenner added.

“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.

“This is Gavin Newsom’s California, where he orders us to stay home but goes out to dinner with his lobbyist friends.”

Campaign advisers told Axios that Jenner will embrace bi-partisan unity, they said, and run as “someone that’s socially liberal and fiscally conservative”.

“Certainly she has not seen eye-to-eye with [Trump] on a lot of things,” one adviser said.

“I think that Caitlyn will talk to anyone, Democrat or Republican. Donald Trump is not going to be the deciding factor for the state of California.”

Jenner did row back on her once unflinching support for Trump in 2018 – when his administration launched one of its many attacks on trans rights.