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Openly gay Republican presidential candidate to stop in Utah

Along with Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Ricky Perry, openly gay California Republican Fred Karger is vying for his party’s nomination. Karger will be making a campaign stop in Utah for a Log Cabin Republicans and campaign fundraising events on Sept. 17 and 18.

While Karger admits that landing the nomination for his party is a long shot, his goal of participating in a Republican debate is achievable, he said.

“This is a pretty lackluster field of candidates,” Karger said.  “I don’t believe any of them are invincible. And after I get into a debate, who knows what could happen.”

Another reason for running is to lessen the anti-gay rhetoric in the campaign field, Karger said.

“It’s so much harder to attack someone when they’re in the room.”

Despite being somewhat of an enigma to many, Karger said the Republican Party has a history of representing minority causes and being an inclusive party. He pointed out that until the 1960s, it was the Southern Democrats, such as Strom Thurmond, who supported segregation.

“I’m the only moderate in the field,” Karger said. “And I want to bring the party back to that very important principle.”

Karger’s platform extends beyond sexuality and queer rights. He said he is pro-choice, a supporter of immigration reform and supports full marriage equality, which even President Barack Obama does not support, Karger pointed out.

“From the establishment all around I’ve received a lukewarm response to my candidacy,” Karger said. “But the everyday people have responded so well. Really, it’s been an incredible response.”

Karger will be participating in the Utah Log Cabin Republicans fundraising event on Sept. 17 and a campaign fundraiser on Sept. 18. For more information about the events, or to attend, go to tinyurl.com/lcrepublicans or logcabinutah.org.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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