Caitlyn Jenner is casting herself as a “compassionate disruptor” and attacking “career politicians” in the ad released Tuesday opening her bid for California governor.
The former gold medal Olympic athlete and reality star who came out as a transgender woman in 2015 entered the race to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom last month, injecting a dose of Hollywood star power into what is shaping up to be the most high-profile contest of the year.
“I came here with a dream 48 years ago, to be the greatest athlete in the world,” she says in the ad, which first aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Now I enter a different kind of race, arguably my most important one yet: to save California.”
California used to be the envy of the world, but that has changed, Ms. Jenner says, lamenting how the “government is involved in every part of our lives. They’ve taken our money, our jobs and our freedom.”
In the ad, picturesque clips of California give way to footage of camps with homeless people, needles and business closures.
Ms. Jenner says, “California needs a disruptor — a compassionate disruptor.”
“I want to carry the torch for the parents who had to balance work and their child’s education, for business owners who are forced to shut down, for pastors who are not able to be with their congregation, for the family who lost their home in a fire, for an entire generation of students who lost a year of education,” she says.
The Republican-led push to recall Mr. Newsom officially qualified for the ballot last week after the secretary of state’s office announced that more than 1.6 million signatures were deemed valid, roughly 100,000 more than required.
Mr. Newsom has faced stiff blowback over his approach to the coronavirus and made things worse for himself after he was pictured having dinner with friends after encouraging voters to stay home because of the pandemic.
Republicans see the recall as a better-than-usual chance to win a statewide race in the deep blue state.
Ms. Jenner’s ad features images from Mr. Newsom’s dinner, as well as photos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not wearing a mask during a hair salon visit in San Francisco that left her critics fuming.
“This past year has redefined our career politicians as elitists, and the people of California as the warriors, the kings and the angels,” Ms. Jenner says. “We never take kindly to glass ceilings here, instead we shatter them.”
“California faces big hurdles,” she says of footage from the Olympics. “Now we need new leaders who are unafraid to leap to new heights, who are unafraid to challenge and change the status quo.”