Long-shot Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger compared the GOP Party Chairman of Florida to the Ayatollah of Iran for personally handpicking the 9 candidates to be on the state’s Republican primary ballot.
Karger was the first official entrant in the GOP 2012 race, as well as the first openly gay presidential candidate of a major political party. He is also the first Jewish Republican to ever to run for president.
Florida Republican chairman Lenny Curry announced that Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum will all appear on the Republican primary ballot in Florida.
Karger and another long-shot candidate, Buddy Roemer, will not.
“We reached out repeatedly to Mr. Curry’s staff and him for several weeks prior to his announcement of who would appear on the Florida ballot and who would not,” said Karger. “This guy is acting just like the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme leader of Iran. That may be okay in Tehran, but the voters of Florida should have the opportunity to vote for all the serious Republican candidates for President, not just the ones Lenny Curry picks.”
Access to the primary ballot in Florida is decided by Republican leaders, who use whatever standards they wish. Unlike other states, presidential candidates cannot collect signatures to be placed on the ballot.
Despite having a long career as a Republican, Karger has also been excluded from nearly all polls of 2012 candidates and televised debates. He has worked as a senior consultant for Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford.
“I have been heavily involved in politics for over 35 years and I have never seen anything quite like this,” concluded Karger. “I support full marriage equality, am pro-choice and believe in immigration reform. I would hope that there is a place for an Independent Republican on the Florida ballot. This is not the way our democracy is supposed to work.”
Karger will appear on the New Hampshire and Michigan Republican Primary ballots.
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