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LOS ANGELES – Caitlyn Jenner announced she is running for California governor on Friday.

The 71-year-old longtime Republican said she filed paperwork to run for governor to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom if there’s a recall election later this year. 

“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,” Jenner said in a statement. “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.”

The former reality TV star, Olympic athlete and transgender rights activist’s announcement came days before the April 29 deadline to verify signatures in the campaign to recall Newsom. Recall organizers submitted more than 2.1 million signatures last month; they need about 1.5 million signatures verified to put the recall question before California voters.