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Caitlyn Jenner launches bid for California governor

The former Olympian, reality TV star and transgender activist announced her run as the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom moves forward.
/ Source: NBC News

Caitlyn Jenner, the former Olympian, reality TV star and transgender activist, said Friday she is running to be governor of California, as a recall of the sitting Democratic governor moves forward.

In a press release posted to Twitter, Jenner, a longtime Republican, said that she’d make a “formal announcement” in the “the coming weeks” and pitched herself as a “compassionate disruptor” who will campaign on “solutions” and “providing a roadmap back to prosperity” for the state.

“California has been my home for nearly 50 years. 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 special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision,” Jenner said.

Jenner’s campaign website also went live Friday morning. Axios first reported the news.

Jenner, the stepparent to the famous reality TV Kardashian clan, had been reportedly considering entering the governor's race if a petition to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom qualified for the ballot.

Recall organizers have said they collected more than 2 million signatures, well above the 1.5 million needed to meet the state's threshold to trigger an election. Counties have until the end of the month to verify signatures and report their tallies to state election officials. The state Finance Department will take about 30 days to produce a cost estimate for the election before a legislative panel reviews the findings. Only then would an election date be set.

Caitlyn Jenner attends Logo TV's 'Beautiful As I Want To Be' web series launch party in 2015.Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images

If a recall formally qualifies for the ballot, voters will be asked two questions: The first would be whether they want to recall Newsom, and the second would be who should replace him. There is no limit to how many people can run, and whoever gets the most votes wins, an open election that allows someone to be elected with only a small plurality.

Jenner could be the first of what many strategists believe will be a long line of celebrity and novelty candidates who could closely mirror those who ran during the 2003 recall in election in California, when adult film star Mary Carey, former child actor Gary Coleman and Hustler publisher Larry Flynt added their names to the list of more than 100 would-be governors.

Action movie hero Arnold Schwarzenegger ultimately won the election with 49% of the vote.

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