Karger campaigns despite little tangible support

Fred Karger, a self-described openly gay Republican presidential candidate, takes a photo of his supporters in Manchester, N.H., last month.
Fred Karger, a self-described openly gay Republican presidential candidate, takes a photo of his supporters in Manchester, N.H., last month. –David Kamerman for The Boston Globe

Fred Karger, a Californian who routinely describes himself as an openly gay Republican presidential candidate, has been excluded from debates, and hasn’t ranked a mention in most polls.

So far, he hasn’t raised much money either, he said yesterday. But Karger isn’t giving up.

A former Republican political strategist, Karger is running on a platform of making the GOP more inclusive, particularly for gays.

From July 2010, when Karger set up an exploratory committee, through June 30, Karger raised just $40,000 in donations. He contributed another $210,000 of his own money to his campaign.

That sum is peanuts compared to his Republican competitors.

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Mitt Romney has raised over $18 million, while Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich all raised between $2 million and $5 million.

Karger is hoping to bring in some money at a Beverly Hills cocktail reception July 24, where tickets range from $100 for an individual to $2,500 for a “diamond sponsor.’’ He also has a July 21 fund-raiser planned for San Francisco.

“Fund-raising begins in earnest now,’’ Karger wrote in an email to the Globe.

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