Gay California Activist Fred Karger Considers Presidential Run


Fred Karger, the California activist behind Californians Against Hate, which since Prop 8 passed has been spearheading efforts to investigate the Mormon church's and other major donors' financial involvement in the measure's passage, has put up a website announcing he is considering running for President as a Republican.

Writes Karger:

I am strongly considering becoming a candidate for President of the United States in 2012.

I would be an unconventional candidate, and if I run, I will wage an unconventional campaign.

I want to help determine the direction of this country, and in the process, work to redefine the Republican Party.

My thirty-five years of experience as a fighter in politics places me in a unique position to run. I have worked on nine Presidential campaigns; this would be my tenth. I have managed dozens of other campaigns all over the country, and would bring that wealth of experience to my own candidacy.

I would build a credible campaign, and would strive to engage and register new and younger voters. My campaign would be highly strategic and utilize the latest digital media technology to attract volunteers and raise the necessary funds. I would likely be the only true outsider running in either party.

I would be the first openly gay candidate to seek the nomination of a major political party as its Presidential candidate. I would discuss issues important to the gay and lesbian community such as: ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, pass the federal Employment Anti-Discrimination law, eliminate the federal Defense of Marriage Act, make Gay Marriage the law of the land and make finding a cure for HIV / AIDS and a vaccine to prevent HIV a new national priority.

Shirley Chisholm captivated the nation when she ran for President as this country’s first serious black and female candidate in 1972. Her campaign paved the way for Jesse Jackson’s Presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988, and the election of Barack Obama as our 44th President in 2008.

Our nation is facing tremendous challenges right now. I pledge to put new effective leadership in place to end our nation’s economic crisis. I will work tirelessly to bring back the spirit in every man, woman and child to help remake America the land of opportunity and equality for all.

No doubt, given his work against the LDS Church, it would be entertaining to see him face-to-face with Mitt Romney.


  1. Sgt.Sausagepants says

    As awesome as it would be to have a gay president, I honestly don’t think America is ready to vote for one.

    That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t run though. He could still do a lot of good for the political discourse that way.

  2. Thad says

    I agree. While my initial reaction was “what a waste of time and money”, the more I think about it the more I think it will be positive exposure for the community with a group that generally doesn’t want us to exist.

  3. DR says

    He should run, we need to be making statements like this at the local, state and national political levels. We need to get ourselves out there. Although he probably doesn’t stand a realistic chance at getting very far, he deserves support if he can come up with a viable and sensible national platform. That’s the key, though. Don’t just be the “gay candidate”, be the “candidate with a viable political platform who happens to be gay”.

  4. says

    I have to admire this guy. He has guts. But run as a Republican? The brand is so tarnished and out of touch that he’d be fighting a losing battle. Why not take his experience, record and ideas and use them to establish a badly needed third party? It seems to me he would have a better chance. I would consider voting for any third party candidate over a Republican, or a Democrat for that matter, if I felt he was the go to guy. I’d have trouble voting for any Republican regardless of what they said
    because anyone who has been paying attention knows they are the “party first, country second” party. That’s an image it will take more than one man to change.

  5. Mellotron says

    “ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, pass the federal Employment Anti-Discrimination law, eliminate the federal Defense of Marriage Act, make Gay Marriage the law of the land and make finding a cure for HIV / AIDS and a vaccine to prevent HIV a new national priority”

    If he managed to do all of this in his first term, who cares if he’s a republicant.

  6. Michael J says

    Aside from giving priority to gay and HIV issues, what else does he stand for? Why is he running as a Republican and what does he share with the party?

  7. major707 says

    I think it makes perfect sense to run as a Republican. A another gay Democrat would be lost in the crowd. A new third party with a gay would also be lost in the noise. A gay running as a Republican for President would make a lot of noise and gather a lot of attention. He might then have a short at a third party platform when he fails to win in the primaries.

  8. FlexSF says

    Good luck to Karger! It will be a delight to watch him stand up to the reckless religious zealots, and prove them wrong with every opportunity possible!

  9. Z says

    This is freaking absurd. There went any credibility for his otherwise admirable efforts to investigate the campaigns behind anti-gay referendums.

  10. John says

    He won’t get a single convention delegate.

    Unlike the Democrats with their complicated proportional representation + special interest + super delegate calculus — Republican primaries are really easy to figure out. They are “first pass the post” elections. The winner of a state takes all of that state’s delegates.

    And since Mr. Karger won’t win any states, he won’t have any impact on the campaign. Even less so than a Dennis Kucinich or Al Sharpton candidacy on the Democratic side.

  11. says

    For those of you who don’t know Fred, he is a political mastermind. He will garner an amazing amount of publicity and press attention, shake up the status quo and will hopefully be able to get into the Republican Presidential debates where he will force Americans to re-rethink their attitudes towards gay people.

    Run Fred, Run!

  12. ravewulf says

    I don’t know. I don’t like the Republicans on any of the issues. Social, economic, corperate involvement with government, their general pro-corperation and big business approach, health care, etc

    Fred Karger MIGHT be able to turn the Republicans around on gay issues (doubt it, they are far too gone at this point), but I highly doubt he will make much difference on any of the other issues.

    I have voted for Democrats for more than JUST their support of gay rights. I’m looking out for Bold Progressives like Alan Grayson to support.

  13. Christopher Lucker says

    If Fred wins, he will be the first bandleader elected President. It is about time.

  14. rodjohn says

    he immediately lost my interest when ‘republican’ came up. well, good luck to ya anyway…

  15. gloria saperstein says

    I bet Karger would be a tough candidate to debate. He knows how to play dirty in politics as he has spent his career as a mischief maker for the Republicans. I hope he does run.

  16. Derek Washington says

    Please tell me he didn’t reference Shirley Chisolm and have the nerve to be Republican. Egads! Girlfriend is rolling over in her grave.

  17. says

    I agree that this could be great for the gay community. Sure his chances of getting elected are very low because are country isn’t ready for a gay candidate. Still running as a gay candidate opens a ton of doors for future candidates and laws. I definitely agree that he should be running as a candidate that has solutions, ideas, and a plan that happens to be gay rather than focusing on the fact that he is a gay candidate.