Fred Karger to be First to File for President With the Federal Election Commission

Fred Karger Presidential Exploratory Committee

March 22, 2011

Contact: Rina Shah

WASHINGTON, DC Longtime GOP operative, Fred Karger will turn in his paperwork Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 11:00 am at the FEC Offices, 999 E Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Karger was the first to announce he was seriously considering running for President on April 10, 2010 at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans and the first to establish a Presidential Exploratory Committee on July 18, 2010. He was the first to run commercials in New Hampshire right after Labor Day last year, the first to run an Iowa commercial right after the November midterm elections and the first to hire a State Director in Iowa on December 1, 2010. So it only stands to reason that Karger would be the first to file for the Republican nomination for President. Oh, yeah, Fred would also be the first openly gay candidate to run for President in history.

Karger brings with him a wealth of political and campaign experience. He has managed dozens of campaigns, worked on nine Presidential campaigns including senior consultant with Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford.

After a 30 year career in politics, Karger retired in 2004 and became an LGBTQ activist. During the summer of 2008, he discovered the Mormon Churchs complete control of Californias Proposition 8 and filed a sworn complaint with the California Ethics Commission against the Mormon Church. The Salt Lake City based Church was prosecuted, investigated, found guilty and fined after an 18 month investigation.

Karger also filed the successful complaint against the National Organization for Marriage for alleged money laundering with the state of Maines Ethics Commission. That investigation is ongoing after 16 months.

Karger will be issuing a statement and be available after turning in his paperwork at the FEC office.

For background, see last month’s Washington Post profile piece:

“Crashing the party: GOP strategist turned gay rights activist ponders a White House run”


Fred on Twitter

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Updated coverage of Fred’s announcement:

CBS News (video): Openly gay Republican Fred Karger announces 2012 presidential run

Salon: Fred Karger, gay Republican, for president

HuffPo: Late Returns: We Have Our First GOP Presidential Candidate

Mother Jones: It’s Official! Gay Republican Running for President

Statement by Fred Karger:

WASHINGTON, DC — Today is a very significant day for my community and me. I have just submitted my papers to the Federal Election Commission, making me the first candidate to file for the 2012 Republican nomination for President.

I am also the first openly gay person, in a major political party, to ever run for President of the United States.

After spending 35 years in politics behind the scenes, I want to be a participant and help shape the debate in the Republican Party and our nation.

While I intend to talk about many important issues, I dedicate today to the 6 teenagers who took their lives this past fall because they were bullied for who they were. They could not go on living for even one more day.

There is no place for hatred and bigotry in this country. We must all learn to respect each other and our differences.

I began this journey 13 months ago when I traveled from my home in California to Washington, DC, New York and then up to New Hampshire. It has been a whirlwind. I have traveled to 19 states, including 12 trips to New Hampshire and 6 to Iowa. I have talked to thousands of people, and I have been encouraged to take this to the next level.

During the months ahead, I will propose some bold new ideas on a wide array of issues, and I want to help bring back optimism like my old boss Ronald Reagan did 30 years ago.

I know that I will not be invited to participate in some of the debates and forums that will be held during the next year. Some will not include me because I am an outsider, others because I am gay. I will fight to get into each and every debate, so that my ideas and my voice may be heard.

I want to send a loud and clear message to anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, that you can do anything you want to do in this country. You can even run for President of the United States.

Chino Blanco

--- We are men of action, lies do not become us. ---

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4 Responses

  1. Chino Blanco says:

    In related news, Mormon Matters just released Podcast 24: Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Glenn Beck and the 2012 Election

    And a totally unrelated question for MSP: What, if anything, are we doing for General Conference? I’m kind of nervous that they’re going to keep it very vanilla and boring after the big fireworks show that BKP brought last time.

    ETA: I meant what, if anything, should MSP do. Myself, I’ll be at the Bob Dylan concert in Taipei.

  2. Andrew S. says:

    I’m going to be live-tweeting.

    (I wouldn’t recommend that for anyone else.)

    Anyway, I hope that Karger can make some kind of splash

  3. chanson says:

    I think you’re probably right that conference will be extra-vanilla this time. But who knows? I doubt the LDS leadership intended (or wanted) fireworks at the last one.

    Personally I’ll be ignoring General Conference while helping a friend of mine host a recital at her house.

    And I look forward to seeing how much of a splash Karger can make in the election!

  4. Chino Blanco says:

    It’s been a fun day. We had a couple of Fulbright scholars over for an expat pizza night, and these young nevermos were up-to-speed on both the Book of Mormon musical and Karger’s announcement. It probably goes without saying at this point, but I’m still pleased to report that we seem to have turned a corner as far as Mormons and gay Republican oxymorons are concerned. Neither are any longer arcane or outlandish dinner topics.

    And I suspect Michael Otterson will soon rue the day he told the AP that “Mr. Karger is entitled to his opinion. He is not entitled to make up facts.” Dude, the California fine y’all paid is as good as it gets. Once Maine finally gets NOM to fess up about their mystery million-dollar donor, I’m guessing the “facts” are gonna have SLC scrambling for cover.

    Anyways, after the Dylan concert, I intend to go full-on meta Mormon and live-tweet Andrew’s live-tweeting.

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