With two months to go before the special election to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom, gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner has flown off to Australia. Jenner’s team has confirmed the candidate was abroad after Australian publications reported she flew into Sydney to appear on Celebrity Big Brother. Jenner vehemently denied her campaign was stopping just because she was more than 7,000 miles away. In a tweet Friday after the news broke, Jenner said she was ” honoring a work commitment” she “had made prior to even deciding to run for governor.” She added: “My campaign team is in full operation as am I. I am in this race to win for California, because it is worth fighting for.”
The election to recall Newsom is scheduled for Sept. 14, and ballots will start going out to voters next month. The ballots will contain two questions, first whether the Democratic governor should be recalled and then who should replace him. It’s unclear how long Jenner will be gone but Australia requires everyone arriving from overseas to go through 14 days of quarantine. Jenner’s spokesperson said she would be back in time for a “bus tour” across California before the election. TMZ hears word from “sources close to production” that Jenner will be in Australia for three weeks, including the two weeks of quarantine.
The former Olympian’s arrival in Australia has sparked some controversy amid stringent COVID-19 restrictions that have kept even some citizens out of the country. One group representing Australians stranded abroad called Jenner’s arrival a “slap in the face.” Jenner has turned her opposition to COVID-19 restrictions in California into one of her main campaign platforms. “Draconian lockdowns didn’t work before and won’t now! When will the politicians get it?!” she tweeted on June 29.
Jenner is one of several Republicans trying to take over for Newsom, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Rep. Doug Ose, and radio host Larry Elder. Democrats are largely backing Newsom and there are no big names running. Friday was the deadline for candidates to file their paperwork and the official list of candidates will be known next week. Jenner filed her paperwork Thursday.