Is Caitlyn Jenner better for CA than Gov. Newsom?


Fact Box

  • Caitlyn Jenner, previously known as William Bruce Jenner, is an American decathlete and a central figure in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Jenner came out as transgender in 2015 and released a series and book to “raise the visibility” of gender identity. 
  • On Tuesday, May 4, Jenner announced running for California governor against Governor Newsom in a three-minute ad. The Republican combats big business, saying, it has “taken our money, our jobs, and our freedom.”
  • As of Monday, May 3, Governor Newsom had 1.6 million signatures for recall, totaling enough to make the ballot. Critics say his pandemic handling and numerous restrictions were reason enough for his recall. 
  • According to a March 2021 Public Policy Institute of California poll, 56% support Newsom retaining his governorship, while 40% support his removal from office.

Elizabeth (Yes)

Caitlyn Jenner is officially running to replace Gavin Newsom as governor of California. Good. Jenner is a fighter. A leader. Someone who thinks outside the box. Jenner would bring an innovative perspective, non-political ideas, and a sorely needed breath of fresh air to Sacramento. 

Jenner has always been one to work hard. The fact that Jenner, as Bruce in 1976, won the gold medal in the Olympic decathlon speaks volumes about the ambitious spirit Caitlin embodies. To even qualify, let alone win the gold, is an achievement extremely few can claim, and Jenner set a world record in the process. To then declare the decades-old internal struggle and transition to female shows another level of commitment few make.

Newsom, on the other hand, was born with political connections. Part of the Pelosi clan, he had big money backing his run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and we all know the rest of his trajectory. His autocratic behavior during the pandemic has been sickening, and Jenner could potentially make for a great change. 

History shows Jenner's lack of political experience isn't a disqualifying factor in California politics. On the contrary, an 'outsider' perspective could prove very beneficial in the state capitol. Jenner appears to understand the need to stop 'playing politics' as Newsom's infamous French Laundry dinner with a lobbyist so grossly displayed. 

Campaign ads always make big promises. But if Jenner could accomplish even half of her ideas, we'd be in better shape than now. It remains to be seen if Jenner will end up as the 'best choice to replace Newsom, but she's certainly an improvement over California's current version!


Ethan (No)

Regardless of what promises Caitlyn Jenner makes to Californians, she is not a politician and, therefore, is not the best choice for California, no matter who she runs against. As far as political involvement, Jenner has made statements in the past claiming 'she's 'always been more' on the 'economically conservative' side,' but is 'much more progressive' on social issues.' However, Jenner's political involvement doesn't support her beliefs: she has voted in 9 of the 26 state elections since 2000. Someone who doesn't even vote in her state elections is not a good fit for California governor.

Jenner is a Republican candidate, despite being a transgender woman, and the Republican party is currently doing everything in their power to disrupt trans rights. Her support of the Republican Party as a trans woman is an insult, making the fight for transgender rights and acceptance infinitely harder. Given the fact that California is a state with one of the highest numbers of transgender-identifying adults, Jenner is clearly not a good fit to run the state. 

In the past few years, the United States has had a number of political firsts when it comes to filling offices. We elected our first Black president twice, in 2008 and 2012, and in 2021, the US elected her first female Black vice president. While the prospect of California electing its first transgender governor is enticing and would be one for the history books, that opportunity may overshadow Jenner's ability or lack thereof, to actually perform as a competent and successful governor, which is what the state really needs right now—not another history book moment.

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