Caitlyn Jenner latest celebrity to consider running for office

The Olympic champ talks about her political aspirations, being an LGBT advocate.

ByABC News
July 16, 2017, 5:05 PM

— -- The 2018 U.S. elections may just be the year of celebrity candidates.

After Kid Rock teased the idea of running for Senate in Michigan last week, former Olympian and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner now says she’s considered a run for Senate in California.

Jenner made the comments on John Catsimatidis’ radio show “Cats Roundtable” on 970 AM.

“I have considered it,” said Jenner. “I like the political side of it. If there’s one thing — I work very closely with the American Unity Fund — that their sole purpose, their mission statement is to get the Republican party to do a better job with all LGBT issues.”

“Over the next six months or so I’ve got to figure out where I can do a better job. Can I do a better job from the outside? Working the perimeter of the political scene?” she told Catsimatidis. “Or, are you better off from the inside. And we are in the process of determining that. And yeah, I would look for a senatorial run.”

Jenner, a Republican, has been outspoken about her support for the GOP and the challenges the party has with reaching out to the LGBTQ community. In the summer of 2016 Jenner attended the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where she spoke at an event supporting LGBT rights. She told ABC’s “The View” last week that she has been meeting with members of the Trump administration to talk about LGBTQ issues. On Sunday, she said she’s meeting with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

If Jenner decides to run in 2018, she faces incumbent Democratic Senator from California Diane Feinstein, who will be up for re-election -- although Feinstein has not announced her candidacy.

Jenner’s comments are the latest in a wave of celebrities who — like Donald Trump — hope to use their fame and influence as a launching pad for a political career.

Kid Rock, whose legal name is Robert James Ritchie, said last week on Twitter he plans to run for public office, but has not yet filed with Federal Election Commission (FEC). Soon after announcing his plans, it was revealed he will be releasing a new album this fall.

Ritchie tried to push back on concerns that his announcement was a marketing strategy for a new album, writing on his website “I’ve got 15 days from my announcement to file paperwork with the FEC!” He would face incumbent Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow if he runs in 2018.

Stabenow responded to his announcement in a tweet, "I know we both share a love of music. I concede he's better at playing guitar and I'll keep doing what I do best: fighting for Michigan."

Ritchie wrote on his website, “Senator Stabenow and I do share a love of music, although probably not the same kind. I concede she is better at playing politics than I am so I'll keep doing what I do best, which is being a voice for tax paying, hardworking AMERICANS and letting politicians like her know that We the People are sick and tired of their bulls--t!”

When asked about Ritchie’s plans to run, Kid Rock’s manager Kirt Webster told ABC News that he will be making an announcement about his plans on Monday.

Other celebrities that have recently said they’re considering a run for public office include Mark Cuban and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. These TV and film stars wouldn’t be the first to make the jump from Hollywood to Washington — Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Springer, Al Franken, and Sonny Bono are just a few examples of actors and TV personalities who ran successful political campaigns.

Related Topics