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In the News

Caitlyn for California

Mike McCartney

27th April 2021

A leftfield gubernatorial campaign following a recall election

What's going on?

Initially, I thought Jenner was planning to run as an independent but apparently she is a long-term Republican. Shows you how much I know about this celeb. I don't really know how to describe Caitlyn Jenner, so will default to the BBC:

"Who is Caitlyn Jenner?

Caitlyn Jenner has been described as the highest-profile American to come out as transgender.

She announced she was transgender in 2015 in an interview with broadcaster Diane Sawyer on ABC, and said the star said she had been wrestling with her gender since childhood.

The former athlete won a gold medal at the Montreal Games in 1976.

Before transitioning, she was married to Kris Jenner and the pair had two daughters, Kendall and Kylie. The family were stars of the hit reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Caitlyn Jenner said her step-daughter Kim Kardashian had been a big supporter of her transitioning."


Total Recall

So why is the election being held in an odd year? The current incumbent is Gavin Newsom and he was elected in November 2018. But he has been subject to a recall election after enough signatures were collected on a petition to have him recalled. The California Patriot Coalition are an interest group opposed to the strict lockdown measures the governor imposed. A bit like the protestors who took to the streets in London last Saturday. The media in the UK call them covid deniers, but many of them are business owners who don't feel that the negative economic impact can be justified when measured against the impact on the health of the population.

Recall elections are extremely rare, and it is quite impressive that the conservative-leaning group managed to garner the 1.6 million signatures needed to trigger a recall. Only a handful of recalls have ever been called in the USA, but one pretty significant one was in fact in California itself, back in 2003 when Arnold Schwarzenegger, another Republican, was elected.

Questions about the recall process and the extent to which it good for democracy are relevant here. So the election is worth watching.

An element of nastiness has already been injected into the gubernatorial campaign by Jenner (or more likely, a member of the Jenner PR team) via Twitter, tweeting:

"Gavin Newsom is so threatened by our campaign that he’s trying to fundraise off my announcement instead of focusing on doing his actual job. This is what entrenched politicians do. They play politics instead of doing what’s right for the people of California. #RecallNewsom"


For this reason, critics have been quick to point out that there is a shadow of Trump here. For that matter, another similarity can be seen when you check out the merch launch to accompany the official web announcement. My favourite is the "Caitlyn for California" coffee mug. Yours for a bargain 25 green ones.


At least she isn't promising to "Make California Great Again". Well, not yet anyway.

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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