Fred Karger officially ends 2012 presidential campaign

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Karger in August 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Proclaiming that the fat lady had sung, political consultant Fred Karger of California officially ended his campaign for Presidency of the United States on Friday, three days after a last place finish in the Utah Republican primary. Karger was the first openly gay individual to seek the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party, and accumulated a total of 12,609 votes in six primary elections.

Karger, who served as a political adviser for several Republican presidents before actively campaigning for LGBT causes, had started his presidential campaign in 2010, but did not officially announce until last year. Throughout 2011, he attempted to appear in GOP presidential debates, but was unable to meet the polling threshold for any; he believed he had qualified for an August debate, but was denied entry after organizers deemed his cited polls as inadequate.

In 2012, Karger appeared on the primary ballots in New Hampshire, Michigan, Puerto Rico, Maryland, California, and Utah. He had his strongest showing in Puerto Rico, edging Congressman Ron Paul in votes and claiming over one percent of the total. He received his largest vote total in his home state of California, winning 8,268. In the June 26 Utah primary, the final contest before the 2012 National convention, Karger finished in fifth place with 0.25 percent, behind former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former Senator Rick Santorum, Paul, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee who won with 93 percent of the vote.

In his withdrawal announcement, Karger thanked his supporters and reflected on the campaign as "the experience of a lifetime." He expressed hope that his effort had positively influenced political discourse on the economy, education, LGBT rights, and other issues. He now plans to "rest up for awhile" before getting "back at it to help in the fight for LGBT equality."

Karger did not endorse another candidate for the presidency, and had previously told Wikinews that he had no plans to endorse anyone at the conclusion of his campaign.

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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.