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Although Mitt Romney has virtually locked up the Republican presidential nomination and all of his serious challengers have conceded the race, presidential candidate Fred Karger is still out on the trail campaigning.
Karger, a gay Republican running an issues-based campaign to change attitudes within the GOP about same-sex marriage, took his efforts last week to Utah, which holds the nation’s last primary election, on June 26.
Karger spent four days in the state, meeting with local Republican leaders and urging the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to stop funding efforts against gay marriage. (Prior to launching his presidential bid, Karger founded a group called “Californians Against Hate,” which focused on Mormon involvement in the campaign to pass Proposition 8, a ballot initiative passed in 2008 banned same-sex marriage.)
During his visit to Utah, Karger met with Washington County Republican Party Chairman Willie Billings, who Karger said was “welcoming” and “friendly.” After their meeting, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, Karger gave Billings some campaign paraphernalia, including a Frisbee and a T-Shirt. When Billings brought the souvenirs home, however, his wife, Nanette Billings, threw them in the garbage and fired off an email to Karger, calling him “a radical idiot” and saying “thank goodness” he “cant procreate.”
Billings confirmed that she sent the email through Karger’s website.
By Mark Z. Baraback \ June 13, 2012 3:03 am
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Fred Karger failed.
There were 20 Republican presidential debates and not one featured the California political-strategist-turned-openly-gay-White-House-hopeful, although he came close — or at least should have — to qualifying for a session last summer, if only Fox News hadn’t changed the rules.
Or so he says. The Federal Election Commission, after reviewing Karger’s complaint, disagreed and found no evidence of wrongdoing. Karger returned this week from a campaign swing through Utah to find the FEC response in a pile of mail at his home in the Hollywood Hills.
Karger has devoted more than two years of his life to his quixotic White House bid, visiting 31 states and Puerto Rico, where, he exulted, “I beat Ron Paul.” He has spent close to $500,000 out of pocket and, for all his effort, collected precisely zero delegates.
Gay-rights activist Fred Karger, who turned his anger over the Mormon Church’s advocacy of California’s Proposition 8 into a presidential bid, will kick off his Utah primary campaign on Friday during an 11 a.m. press conference in Salt Lake City.
Karger plans to discuss his plans for the next two weeks before facing Mitt Romney in Utah’s primary on June 26.
He will also implore leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to stop spending money on anti-gay marriage campaigns and to embrace all church members equally.
I began this long campaign twenty-seven months ago with a trip to Washington, DC, New York and New Hampshire. I left my home in Laguna Beach for the wintry freeze of February back east.
It was two weeks that would change my life forever.
Karger speaks with “Tell Me More” host Michel Martin about his campaign and his struggle to come out. Click on “Listen to the Story” above to hear the interview and read a transcript of their conversation.