Three unnamed sources who spoke with Axios said Jenner has been in active discussions with longtime GOP fundraiser, Caroline Wren, about a possible run. The pair initially met through American Unity Fund, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group aligned with Republicans. Neither Jenner nor Wren immediately responded to requests for comment from Axios.
Newsom is all but certain to face a recall election at some point later this year. Despite winning office in a landslide election showing with 61 percent of the vote in 2018, his policies remain deeply unpopular with right wing elements of the electorate. Recall organizers claim they were able to gather over 2 million signatures from disaffected voters, more than half a million over what the law requires to initiate a recall election. County election officials have until later this month to verify the signatures.
Jenner would join three other Republican candidates who have already announced their candidacy to replace Newsom. Businessman John Cox who was defeated by the governor in 2018, former mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer, and former congressman Doug Ose have all entered the race to unseat Newsom. Gay Trump ally Richard Grenell has also been mentioned as a possible challenger to the governor, although the former ambassador and administration official has been mum on his possible candidacy.
Jenner made a name for herself first as an Olympic gold medal decathlete at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and later as media celebrity. Jenner became a familiar presence to a new generation of viewers through her marriage to Kris Kardashian. Along with their two daughters together, Kendall and Kylie, Jenner was also stepparent to four children from his new wife's previous marriage. The group appeared together in the famed reality TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, although the couple separated in 2013 and were officially divorced in 2015 citing irreconcilable differences.
The former Olympian had been an early supporter of Trump, but later separated herself from the president following his reversal of guidelines protecting the rights of transgender students.
"I have a message for Mr. President, from one Republican to another," Jenner said in a video back in 2017. "This is a disaster and you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me."
If elected, Jenner would be the first openly transgender governor in the state's history.