Caitlyn Jenner declares ‘game on’ as Californians officially trigger Gavin Newsom recall election

Caitlyn Jenner at the 60th Anniversary party for the Monte-Carlo TV Festival in 202

California’s Gavin Newsom will face a recall election after opponents gathered the required amount of signatures, paving the way for Caitlyn Jenner’s controversial campaign.

A Republican-led effort to oust the Democrat garnered over 1.6 million valid signatures, around 100,000 more than needed to make the ballot, election officials announced on Monday (26 April).

Newsom was up for re-election in 2022 but is now likely to face a vote this autumn in a race that is already shaping up to be chaotic.

So far three Republicans have put their hat in the ring to replace him as governor of California – including the Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner.

Jenner, 71, celebrated the news of the recall on Twitter, warning Newsom it’s “game on”.

Caitlyn Jenner hopes to follow in the footsteps of California’s last Republican governor, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was elected in 2003 after a celebrity-studded recall vote.

She’s reportedly roped in an array of GOP operatives, fundraisers and pollsters for her campaign including many who worked with Trump on his 2016 and 2020 election bids.

But she’s so far failed to win the crucial support of the Californian LGBT+ community, who largely have not welcomed her election bid.

“Make no mistake: we can’t wait to elect a trans governor of California,” tweeted Equality California, one of the state’s largest LGBT+ groups. “But Caitlyn Jenner spent years telling the LGBTQ+ community to trust Donald Trump. We saw how that turned out.

“Now she wants us to trust her? Hard pass.”

Jenner backtracked on her support for Trump after his administration launched one of its many attacks on trans rights, but many LGBT+ voters remain unconvinced.

Star Trek actor George Takei compared her standing in the LGBT+ community to that of Candace Owens in the Black community.

Other Republican challengers include Kevin Faulconer, the former mayor of San Diego, John Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018, and Doug Ose, a former congressman.

The porn actor and reality TV star Mary Carey and the model Angelyne are also running.

Governor Newsom reacted to the news with an attack video claiming the recall effort was led by anti-vaccine QAnon extremists, white supremacists and the same right-wing politicians who supported Trump’s bid to overturn the election.

“This Republican recall threatens our values and seeks to undo the important progress we’ve made – from fighting COVID, to helping struggling families, protecting our environment, and passing common sense gun violence solutions,” he said.

“There’s too much at stake.”