June 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Gay Republican Fred Karger ends presidential campaign

Fred Karger at his Election Night victory party in New Hampshire (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Gay Republican Fred Karger on Friday officially ended his long-shot campaign to win the Republican nomination for president.

“It’s been the experience of a lifetime,” Karger said in a statement. “I’ve made many new friends and undoubtedly picked up a few more detractors. I hope and trust that my discussion of the key issues helped to open dialog on fixing the economy, balancing the federal budget, creating jobs, education reform, the environment, immigration reform, ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and fighting for full equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had already clinched the 1,114 delegates needed to win his party’s nomination late last month, so there was no shot for any other candidate to win the Republican nomination after that time. Karger failed to claim any delegates in his presidential bid.

A senior consultant for the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Karger gained attention after revealing questionable campaign finance reporting by the Mormon Church in support of the campaign for California’s Proposition 8 and by the National Organization for Marriage in efforts in Maine.

Karger said he plans to “rest up a while,” then return to efforts in support of LGBT rights.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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