A few hours after Jenner, a Republican, announced her candidacy, Newsom sent an email blast to his donors tying the celebrity and ex-Olympian to former President Trump and asking for funds.
“Earlier this morning, Caitlyn Jenner announced she was running for Governor of California as part of this Republican recall attempt,” the email read. “What’s more, she is working closely with Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager and the person behind his small-dollar fundraising success.
“We’re going to need help keeping up with Caitlyn’s personal wealth and ability to raise money from right-wing donors now that she has Trump’s team with her,” the email continued. “Can you rush a $3 contribution to Gavin Newsom’s campaign to stop the right-wing Republican recall. He needs your help to keep up with the Trump team behind Caitlyn Jenner’s campaign.”
Though a number of Republican candidates entered the recall race months ago, Newsom has only recently geared up his own effort against them. That the Newsom team gave name recognition to Jenner’s campaign so quickly suggests she is squarely on their radar.
Newsom advisor Nathan Click added in a follow-up statement to Fox News: “We always knew the Republican recall would be a ludicrous circus full of Trump supporters, which only reinforces how much Californians appreciate Governor’s Newsom’s competent compassionate experienced leadership during an unprecedented series of crises.”
The recall is expected to take place in the fall.
Jenner has put together a team of prominent Republican operatives to advise the campaign, including 2016 and 2020 Trump presidential campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio and Steven Cheung, a Trump White House and reelection campaign aide who worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s successful 2003 gubernatorial recall election victory.
Along with her announcement, Jenner launched a website. In a statement on the website, she took aim at the Democrats’ one-party lock on the deep blue state for the past decade.
“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,” Jenner wrote. “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, as she was mulling a run last week, accused mainstream media outlets of not wanting “a #lgbt fiscal conservative and socially liberal candidate running.”
And she touted that she’s “a proven winner and the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom’s disastrous time as governor.”
But Jenner has a spotty voting history in the Golden State. She did not vote in the 2018 election that led to Newsom’s landslide victory and skipped a majority of elections since 2000, Politico reported.
Records also show Jenner didn’t vote in the presidential primary or the general election in 2016, although she has claimed she voted for Donald Trump in 2016.
Jenner becomes the fourth Republican to announce their candidacy. The others are: Businessman John Cox, the 2018 GOP gubernatorial nominee who lost to Newsom by nearly 25 points; former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; and former Rep. Doug Ose have already launched campaigns.
There is no primary in the recall – any number of candidates can run. Splitting the Republican vote four ways could give Newsom the competitive advantage.
Fox News’ Lee Ross and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.