"I don’t think she’ll affect the outcome."
Hours after Caitlyn Jenner officially announced her candidacy for Governor of California, the state’s former chief executive, Jerry Brown, spoke with FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson about the newest challenger to Governor Gavin Newsom.
"I only know about Caitlyn Jenner from a couple of news articles I read," said Brown, who served four terms as Governor of the Golden State, from 1975 to 1983, and again from 2011 to 2019. "I can tell you what it takes to be governor is intelligence, a lot of common sense, an ability to get along with the legislature and the press and all the different constituent groups, and it does take, usually, you should spend some time in politics."
Brown added that it is not a question of whether Jenner could be elected, or even if she might do a decent job, but whether, in a heavily Democratic state like California, voters will see Governor Newsom's ouster as an improvement to their lives.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Caitlyn Jenner announces run for California governor
Jenner, for one, believes a change would better California.
"California has been my home for nearly 50 years. I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality. But for the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision," she wrote in a campaign announcement Friday.
In that same statement, the 71-year-old Olympian, reality TV personality, and transgender rights activist, described herself as a "compassionate disrupter," "a proven winner," and "the only outsider who can put an end to Gavin Newsom’s disastrous time as Governor."
Jenner joins a trio of fellow Republican candidates looking to unseat Newsom in a potential recall election: former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Congressman Doug Ose, and businessman John Cox, who faced off with Newsom during the 2018 campaign, losing by nearly 3 million votes.
To date, no California Democrats have thrown their hats into the ring, as it could pull support from the embattled Governor, however, some have speculated that former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa may be considering a run.
Currently, the number of declared candidates pales in comparison to the 135 names that qualified for the state’s 2003 recall, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger ultimately replaced Gray Davis.
"Whenever you have a recall of a governor, which is really unique in my lifetime, it's only happened once, everybody and their brother is going to jump in," Brown reflected. "They all think, because this is an exciting moment, that they could get some exposure…. they won’t, for the most part. I think Caitlyn Jenner will get some, but at the end of the day, it'll come down to how people are feeling about the state and the stewardship of Governor Newsom."
"I think any fair-minded analysis would say Newsom does not deserve to be recalled and I think he deserves to be reelected. So I don't want to get too far into whether Caitlyn Jenner could do this or not, because I don't think she's going to have the chance."
In a wide-ranging interview on The Issue Is, Brown also discusses his work fighting climate change, racial justice in the aftermath of the Chauvin verdict, lessons from a lifelong career in California politics, and much more.
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.