Caitlyn Jenner says she will run for governor of California

Governor Gavin Newsom is facing a possible recall election

Olympian and former Kardashian clan member Caitlyn Jenner said on Friday she has filed paperwork to run for governor of California in a bid to become the first transgender American to accede to such a high-profile post.

"I'm in!" the 71-year-old former decathlete said in a statement, and added she will formally launch her campaign – presumably as a Republican – at a later date.

"I am a proven winner and the only outsider who can put an end to [Democrat] Gavin Newsom's disastrous time as governor," she said.

Mr Newsom is facing a likely recall election this year after falling under scrutiny for his response to the pandemic.

Republican organisers collected and submitted a petition including over two million signatures demanding he step down.

Election officials are still reviewing petition signatures required to qualify the recall for the ballot. Several other Republicans have also announced plans to run.

Jenner first rose to fame as a decathlete in the 1976 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the event in Montreal.  She went on to marry Kris Kardashian, matriarch of the Kardashian family, with whom she had two daughters.

In 2015, Jenner came out as transgender and underwent gender transition surgery.

Jenner has formerly expressed an interest in a political career, announcing that she was contemplating a run for the US Senate in 2017, but ultimately chose not to enter the race.