Politico recently interviewed Fred Karger, who ran as the first openly gay man, on the Republican ticket, in 2012.
The 2020 presidential race has a diverse group of candidates, including Pete Buttigieg—the South Bend mayor who, if elected, would be the youngest and first openly gay president in American history. However, what might be a shock to some, Buttigieg isn’t the first openly gay candidate to run for president. Meet Fred Karger, a Republican candidate who ran in 2012 and has spent the past two months correcting the record.
From Karger’s Op-Ed:
Any day now openly gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will officially file to run for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. News of his candidacy has already reached the LGBTQ community all over the globe. Pete is proving daily to them that there are no longer any limits on what they can do with their lives. LGBTQers young, old and everyone in-between are inspired by Pete and his message.
I know a lot about his journey, because I ran for president exactly eight years ago as the first openly gay major-party candidate in history. It was an uphill 2 ½ year journey which I began in January 2010 and ended when I was the last candidate standing running against presumptive nominee Mitt Romney in the Utah Primary on June 26, 2012.
Today I am calling on each and every LGBTQ person and organization to fully support Pete Buttigieg for president. What a difference that will make. It’s our chance to flex our collective muscle.
That means you, Human Rights Campaign, Victory Fund, GLAAD, Lambda Legal, Family Equality Council, Transgender Law Center, Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians and Gays, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and even the National Gay Pilots Association. Every state equality organization across the country and their PACs should support Pete. All of these powerful and influential organizations along with the over 30 million of us who identify as LGBTQ in this country could quickly transform Pete into a top tier contender.
Watch the interview with Karger below.