Watch out Newsom, Caitlyn Jenner announces her candidacy for governor, stating that “California is worth fighting for.”
By Isabelle Delostrinos
After overcoming one of the most controversial presidential terms in history, a smaller pot of politics is being stirred up again. Former Olympian and reality TV show star, Caitlyn Jenner, announced her run for governor of California. Over a year since the pandemic was announced, a large number of Californians are looking to push Newsom out of office. The celebrity is grasping the opportunity that many other prospects have with Gavin Newsom’s recall, in hopes to get California back on the right track as the pandemic alleviates later this year.
Caitlyn Jenner has become an advocate and voice for the LGBTQ+ community. As an Olympian and well established celebrity, first known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner is applauded for the courage and bravery it took to reveal her true self in the spotlight. Jenner first announced her gender identity to the world in April of 2015. Since then, she has been recognized for her strength by receiving awards such as the Arthur Ashe courage award at the ESPYs and Transgender Champion at Glamour’s Women of the Year ceremony. Jenner became an important figure, sharing her story to represent LGBTQ+ individuals in an industry that rarely shines their light on this community.
It is surprising to see Jenner interested in replacing Gavin Newsom, but let's look back on Newsom’s career and how he has served the state of California. Newsom won the general election for governor in 2006. Prior to this position, he was elected as mayor of San Francisco in 2003. Newsom is part of the Democratic party and has played a role in many state advances through the years. For example, he signed off a bill that extended family leave from six to eight weeks, allowing more time for a family to take care of newborn children without compromising their jobs. He also signed a bill on rent control, capping the percentage that landlords can increase their rent by. Newsom’s efforts throughout his career are in respect to his state and the people who populate it.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has put Newsom in a sticky situation. Many Californians have disagreed with the way Newsom has handled the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. California was the first state to enforce these orders and shut down many businesses during the first few months of the pandemic. Small businesses received the short end of the stick with little to no financial support to cover their losses. Unemployment rates skyrocketed due to the phased reopening that was created by Newsom and his team. In November of 2020, he was caught unmasked while indoor dining at a restaurant with more than 10 people, the kind of scenario he discouraged during his weekly COVID-19 updates.
Newsom was looking forward to continuing his career as governor throughout 2022, but many have been pushed over the edge by his actions this past year. A petition of over 1.6 million signatures was submitted for the recall of Newsom. The state has not yet approved of the re-election. If they do, an election would be held this fall asking voters if Newsom should continue his position as governor. If a voter chooses no, a list of candidates would be provided for the voter to choose who the new governor should be.
Caitlyn Jenner is taking hold of this opportunity alongside many other established politicians, but it is surprising to see her interest in a political industry. It was found that Jenner has only voted a handful of times in her life, not even casting her vote for the controversial 2016 election that started Trump’s career as president. Her experience with politics and decision making for a population is questionable, and it would be interesting to see her efforts progress as we approach the fall.
Ryan Ford '23,