SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is not discounting Caitlyn Jenner's entry into the race to replace Governor Gavin Newsom in a California recall.
In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! On Monday night, Schwarzenegger said the former Olympic athlete and transgender celebrity, who announced last week she would be running in the recall election as a Republican, has a chance at winning.
"Anyone has a chance because I think people are dissatisfied with what is going on here in California," Schwarzenegger said. "I hope as many people as possible are jumping into this race and going for it."
Schwarzenegger became governor in 2003 during the recall election of Governor Gray Davis. He was one of 135 candidates who ran to replace Davis, and Schwarzenegger predicted that the 2021 recall could be similar.
"It will be fun," Schwarzenegger said. "I predict right now there will be another 100 candidates announcing before the election."
Schwarzenegger declined to say whether he's spoken to Jenner about her candidacy but said: "Just about anyone who is thinking about running has called me."
"I'm very good friends with Caitlyn. I have the utmost respect for her," he added. "But I'm also very good friends with Governor Newsom, and I'm good friends with all the other people who have contacted me and have asked for advice about running or not running."
His advice for those who do throw their hat into the ring?
"The key thing, it doesn't matter if it's Caitlyn or if it's anyone else," Schwarzenegger explained. "(The key thing) is you have to have a key vision of where you want to go, what are the kind of changes you want to make, and why are you qualified to be governor."
On Monday, the California Secretary of State office announced that the effort to recall Newsom had submitted more than 1.6 million verified signatures. That's more than 100,000 more than the requirement to trigger a recall election.