SACRAMENTO – California government candidate Caitlyn Jenner has flown to Australia just two months before the recall of Gavin Newsom, a crucial stretch where candidates buy airtime and promotions before voting by mail starts next month.
A spokeswoman for Jenner’s campaign confirmed the trip abroad with POLITICO after Australian tabloids reported she was in Sydney to appear on “Big Brother VIP.”
“I respect a work commitment that I had made before I even decided to run for governor. There is no break at all in this race to save CA!” Jenner said on Twitter Friday.
Jenner’s spokeswoman said Friday that she will be back in time to fight across California on a “bus ride” ahead of the Sept. 14 competition.
But it is unclear exactly how long Jenner will be in Australia, which has imposed much tighter restrictions than California and the United States as the country tries to limit outbreaks due to the Delta variant. Sydney remains under lockout until at least July 30th. Jenner’s arrival has angered some Australians, according to media reports, because the country has strictly limited the number of citizens who can return home due to concerns from Covid-19.
The former Olympian has fought against restrictions in California and made this argument part of his case against Newsom. “Draconian lockdowns did not work before and will not now! When will politicians get it ?!” she said June 29 on Twitter about a Los Angeles County mask recommendation.
Jenner took to Twitter to answer questions about whether the trip meant she ended her bid for governor. The trip could reportedly last a month due to quarantine requirements and bottling.
“My campaign team is in full swing as I am. I’m in this race to win for California because it’s worth fighting for,” Said Jenner.
Friday is the deadline for candidates to file papers and tax returns to run to replace Newsom in the recall election. This list will not be available until this weekend, a spokesman for California’s Secretary of State said. Jenner filed his nomination papers Thursday, according to Los Angeles County records.
Republican candidates include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, former rep. Doug Ose and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin).
Although Jenner may not have name identification challenges, as her competitors do, this is her first time running for office and she has held few press conferences or public events so far. Jenner has instead focused on national television appearances to appeal to voters.
So far, polls show Newsom has a good chance of defeating the recall effort despite criticism he has been subjected to for his handling of the pandemic. Republicans this week seized his call for mandate masks in schools and blamed him for it return of a mask ordinance in Los Angeles County, as it struggles with a tip in the Delta virus variant.
Tara Palmeri contributed to this report.