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Congressional races

Caitlyn Jenner considering a bid for U.S. Senate in California

 (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Life is Good)
(Rich Polk/Getty Images for Life is Good)

Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist, reality show star and transgender activist, is weighing a run for the U.S. Senate representing California.

“I have considered it. I like the political side of it,” Jenner said in a radio interview with New York’s AM 970 that aired Sunday, adding that she planned to make a decision within the next six months or so.

“I gotta find out where I can do a better job,” she said. “Can I do a better job from the outside, kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talk to anybody? Or are you better off from the inside, and we are in the process of determining that.”

Jenner has been in the spotlight for decades – first as Bruce, an Olympic athlete and the long-suffering husband and father in the Kardashian reality television empire, and then as the activist who transitioned to Caitlyn in 2015, becoming one of the most famous transgender voices in the world.

The Malibu resident is a lifelong Republican. The next opportunity to run for Senate will be in 2018, when Democrat Dianne Feinstein is up for reelection. Feinstein, 84, has not yet said if she will run again. No prominent Republican candidate has publicly announced interest in the seat.

Jenner, 67, is a supporter of President Trump, which would likely be an issue in a state the president lost by more than 4 million votes. But Jenner has clashed with Trump over transgender bathroom policy, and has been working to make the Republican Party more inclusive to the LGBTQ community.

In the interview, she said she had plans to meet with Nikki Haley, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, to discuss the international ramifications for being involved with the LGBTQ community.

“I hope to change the perception of the Republican Party and make it the party of equality,” she said, adding that she believes the GOP would be unstoppable if it kept its small-government, fiscally conservative values while being more accepting of people who have not traditionally been part of the party.

In early 2015, Jenner was involved in a four-car accident on Pacific Coast Highway that resulted in the death of one driver. 

Authorities declined to file charges, finding that Jenner was complying with the speed limit and not distracted, though driving too fast for road conditions at the time. Jenner has settled at least two civil lawsuits stemming from the accident. 

The California Republican Party has a history of electing celebrities, notably President and former Gov. Ronald Reagan, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Palm Springs Mayor and congressman Sonny Bono and former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood.

If Jenner runs, she will not be the only famous Republican on the ballot – soap actor and underwear model Antonio Sabato Jr. is running to represent the southern central coast and most of Ventura County in Congress, and singer Kid Rock is toying with running for a Senate seat representing Michigan.

5:15 p.m.: This story was updated to reference Jenner's car accident.

This post was originally published at 3:32 p.m.

 

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