KATHLEEN RONAYNE, Associated Press
Caitlyn Jenner wants to be governor of California but she took a pass on voting on some of the state’s most critical issues last year, from worker rights to taxes and affordable housing to affirmative action. Or did she?
In the latest example of muddled messaging in Jenner’s nascent campaign, she told CNN in an interview broadcast Tuesday that she did not vote in 2020 — for president or down ballot measures.
But Los Angeles County election records, first reported by Politico, show she did vote.
“It was voting day and I thought the only thing out here in California that I worry about, which affects people, is the propositions that were out there,” Jenner said. “And I didn’t see any propositions that I really had one side or the other. And so it was Election Day and I just couldn’t get excited about it.”
Jenner said she want golfing instead.
A campaign adviser said Wednesday that Jenner voted by mail on “some local issues.” The campaign did not respond to follow up questions about whether that meant she voted on any state propositions.
Malibu, where Jenner lives, held elections for city council, school board and a ballot measure to increase hotel taxes. Those questions were on the same ballot as the state propositions and presidential race, and all Californians received a mail ballot.
Jenner’s seeming confusion about whether she voted and admission that she had no leanings on any propositions — even those dealing with taxes, one of her signature issues — come as the political neophyte is trying to convince people she’s ready to be governor.
Jenner is among candidates seeking to unseat Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in an expected recall election this fall.
The 71-year-old former Olympian and reality TV star announced her candidacy last month. The first weeks have been rocky, with Jenner appearing to have limited knowledge of state issues in interviews and lacking specific policy plans. She suggested in a late April tweet that the governor appoints district attorneys, who are actually elected by voters, which drew mockery from California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu.
“She’s at the stage in her campaign where she really needs to make some inroads and get folks on board with the idea of her being a legitimate candidate, and showing this kind of ignorance of the process doesn’t help with that,” said Kim Nalder, a professor of political science and director of the Project for an Informed Electorate at California State University, Sacramento.
Last fall, Californians were asked to vote on a slew of important ballot measures touching on criminal justice reform, jobs and the economy, housing and other critical issues a governor must engage on.
Propositions are often among the most expensive campaigns, and one measure to exempt companies like Uber and Lyft from classifying their workers of employees generated more than $100 million in spending.
“Voters, for the most part, take that very seriously and do their homework,” Nalder said.
Less consequential may be Jenner’s assertion that she did not vote in the presidential contest between former President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. Jenner previously supported Trump but broke with him over his administration’s position on transgender issues. Jenner came out publicly as a woman in 2015. She has hired several former Trump aides as campaign advisers.