Olympic Gold Medalist, celebrity parent, Reality TV Personality, questionable driver, and Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year in 2015, Caitlyn Jenner has recently filed the paperwork to run for Governor of California, and current Democratic Governor Gavin Newsome’s recall requests have now secured enough signatures to get the recall officially on the ballot.
What is a Recall Election?
In California, the number of signatures equivalent to 12% of votes cast in the regular election for Governor is required to bring a recall to the ballot. For Newsome, that was just under 1.5 million signatures, and as of last week, the petition had eclipsed 1.6 million. More signatures can add weight to any arguments for recalling Newsome, but at this point they are not needed for the process to move forward, as the next step is bringing the measure to the Secretary of State. Enough signatures were verified by nonpartisan parties yesterday, and the recall request will officially be sent to the Secretary’s desk (about 80% of signatures were verified, and most of those that were not were because the people had not voted in the first election).
If the Secretary of State determines a recall is fair based on the voice of the people, the Department of Finance is given 30 days to provide an estimate on the costs. Then, the Secretary of State and Department of Finance report their findings to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, which has another 30 days to decide how the recall will take place, and ultimately the Lieutenant Governor sets a date for the election, which is estimated by most to be late October, though some experts believe it could happen by the end of summer.
Regardless, it’s still a bit early in the process, but a handful of hopeful Republicans have tossed their names in the proverbial hat for Governor, and more are expected to enter. With that, Caitlyn Jenner and her theoretical competition deserve a little bit of slack for not having very much available information regarding their policies, but Caitlyn did, indeed, already launch a merch site, so if she’s making money on her campaign, then it’s not too early for some fun and speculation.
First and foremost, it’s too funny not to take a moment to appreciate that the most famous runner in Hollywood (for the Kylie-aged crowd, Caitlyn identified as Bruce and was an Olympian before her reassignment many years ago) is now “running” for government, so be ready for some sprinter jokes… I’ll try to keep on track (what a great… start).
She is running as a Republican, and in her own words, she has always been “economically conservative” and “much more progressive on [social issues].” Anyone who has read a page of a Political Science for Dummies book knows that those things are really difficult to make co-exist, as money talks a lot louder than a politician saying “I like minorities” while not giving them any money to counteract a few centuries of slavery and oppression, but given her upbringing and own experiences with oppression as a trans woman, we can give her the benefit of the doubt and say her heart is in the right place.
Expecting a celebrity who is running for office to have political science knowledge is almost as much of a stretch as expecting a Republican who is running for office to have political science knowledge, and she’s both of those things, but I digress, and in Jenner’s defense, she has said she wants a thriving economy, because “a thriving economy can help more people.” Well played, CJ.
She was publicly outspoken against former social media influencer, and 45th President, Donald Trump regarding his oppressive actions regarding the LGBTQ community, so she has been able to defend her stances with conviction in the face of the Republican party, and that is worthy of some praise. Her celebrity-turned-politician counterpart Arnold Schwarzenegger has been so vehemently against Donald Trump’s bigotry that people forget that he, too, is a Republican, and a prime example that Republicans can win in California if they’re not close-minded hate mongers.
She does support strict policing, and has been on the books criticizing prosecutors whom she believes are too soft on criminals. Forming this opinion based mostly on her own words, her version of “progressive” seems to be more Libertarian: “let people do what they want if they aren’t hurting anyone,” where true progression (in my opinion) is actively working to level the playing field for everyone to have the same shot at misery in this cold, dead world where Olympic Reality TV Starts have a real shot at running the richest state in the richest country on Earth.
She claims, as many do, to be an “outsider” willing to hear what both sides of the aisle have to say, and seems to have backed that up so far, though not in any arena where she was representing a political party. There are still many months until any election would take place, and even that is not yet a guarantee, but the last line of the only paragraph on her website that isn’t dedicated to selling merchandise reads “Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision” and then leaves everyone hanging as to what that vision might be.