Caitlyn Jenner’s Gubernatorial Campaign Racks Up Debt
The former Olympian turned reality TV personality, Caitlyn Jenner, has struggled to make headway in California’s 2021 governor’s race, despite receiving ample donations from Republican billionaires.
Jenner is not ready to quit the race, but recent filings show her campaign currently has $156,000 of outstanding debt. She has spent more than $910,000 on the race, leaving her with $21,000 to use sparsely.
Jenner, who pulled in 1,500 donations totaling $743,000, is financially weaker than her opponent, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who is currently fighting the Republican recall effort.
When it comes to Jenner’s campaign spending, Los Angeles Magazine recently revealed the reality star’s plentiful, unnecessary campaign spending.
“It cost the campaign nearly $10,000 to fly an unnamed consultant out to California for meetings. It costs $1,300 for Jenner to ride in a limo for meetings around her home base of L.A. A trip for a single meeting in Connecticut cost $3,000. Then she spent almost $700 on herself at the Surfrider, a boutique hotel in Malibu.”
Los Angeles Magazine reported that Jenner has paid a whopping $50,000 to cover security costs and meetings. They also noted that the campaign gave $19,000 to Jenner’s close friend and business partner Sophia Hutchins.
The campaign paid $67,000 to Parscale Strategy, LLC, a strategic marketing firm run by Brad Parscale, who was former President Trump’s reelection manager until he was fired. Another $25,000 was doled out to Ari Fleischer Communications, owned by former President Bush’s Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
On top of Jenner’s high-priced team, the campaign also paid about $182,000 to WinRed, a fundraising platform used by Trump that is favored among conservative candidates. WindRed’s campaign tactics include an auto-checked box that automatically signs donors up for recurring, monthly donations.
Campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung recently voiced his belief in the Jenner campaign’s ability to pull through the election due to its “robust house file” of supporters and donors. He affirmed that “the campaign will be fully funded to enter the final stretch of the election with the necessary resources to end Gavin Newsom’s time as governor.”
“Caitlyn has widespread name recognition, to the tune of 99%, while other candidates need to spend large amounts of money to increase their name identification,” Cheung added.
While Jenner entered the race as an American household name, she has not been able to turn her reality TV stardom into political momentum — or give up the lifestyle that comes with being an entertainment celebrity. For example, Jenner put her campaign on hold last month to film Celebrity Big Brother in Australia.
Donors contributing the maximum amount of $32,000 to Jenner’s campaign include Larry Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle; David Palmer, former CEO of Diamond Resorts in Las Vegas, and Angus Mitchell, the son of hairstylist and entrepreneur Paul Mitchell.
Over the last eight weeks, Jenner’s campaign only received eight donations of $500 or more. Less than half of her donors were California residents. Although Jenner currently can’t afford to even release a commercial with what remains of her war chest, she still hopes to win the election in September.