Hitting the campaign trail. Vicki Gunvalson‘s fiancé, Steve Lodge, announced he’s joining the race for governor of California.
The 62-year-old business owner, who describes himself as “conservative,” declared his candidacy via Instagram on Tuesday, June 29. “I was born and raised in California and spent my adult life here, it was a time when people still called California the Golden State,” he captioned a video. “I raised my children in California, and now I am watching my grandchildren grow up here.”
While his love for his home state is strong, Lodge claimed he “can no longer stand by and watch” as the “bad decisions” of traditional politicians impact the community. “Its [sic] time for the people of California to regain control of their government, not only at the state level, but in the counties, cities, and school boards,” he added. “Over the past decade we have seen the consequences of horrible state policies and even worse legislation. … Enough is enough California.”
As part of his campaign promise, Lodge asserted that he has “the solution” to a number of the state’s social issues, including homelessness, public safety and cost of living. “Help me ‘Make California, California Again,'” he concluded. “I will lead this movement with your help to see California once again as the Golden State she once was.”
The former Real Housewives of Orange County star, 59, showed her support in the comments, writing, “You got this honey ❤️🔥👏.”
Gunvalson, who was an original cast member on the Bravo reality series before announcing her exit in January 2020, got engaged to Lodge in April 2019. They were set to tie the knot the following year but their wedding plans were put on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Coto Insurance founder was previously married to Michael Wolfsmith from 1982 to 1991 and to Don Gunvalson from 1994 to 2014.
Lodge isn’t the only reality TV persona who’s chosen to get involved in California’s race to recall current governor Gavin Newsom. In April, Caitlyn Jenner declared she would be running for the seat, which Newsom has held since 2019.
“I’m in! California is worth fighting for,” the Olympian, 71, captioned an Instagram post alongside a lengthy statement outlining her ideas for the state she’s called home for “nearly 50 years.”
Jenner, who publicly transitioned in 2015, said at the time that she’s spent her life being “a compassionate disrupter” of societal expectations and hoped to “fundamentally fix our state before it’s too late.”
One month after announcing her Republican bid for the political position, the I Am Cait alum explained why her famous family members haven’t publicly shown their support just yet.
“I did speak with all my children,” the retired decathlete told CBS This Morning in May. “I said, ‘Hey, I do not want one tweet, I don’t want you [involved] — this is my deal.'”
The Secrets of My Life author has six children: Burt Jenner and Cassandra Marino, whom she shares with first wife Chrystie Scott; Brandon Jenner and Brody Jenner, whom she shares with second wife Linda Thompson; and Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner, whom she shares with third wife Kris Jenner. Though she talked out the decision with her family members in private, Caitlyn asked them “not to be involved whatsoever” in public.
“I said if anybody asks any questions in the media — because obviously they are in the media — I said just say, ‘No comment,'” she added. “Address your comments to me.”
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