Long-shot GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger of California became the first Republican candidate to qualify for the New Hampshire primary when he turned in his declaration of candidacy and a cashier’s check for $1,000 early this morning.
“I wanted to be the first Republican candidate for President to personally file for the New Hampshire Primary — whenever it may be,” said Karger, who was at the Secretary of State’s office when it opened at 8:00 a.m.
Karger, 67, is believed to be the first openly gay candidate to qualify for a major-party presidential primary in the Granite State.
“History was made today in New Hampshire. On behalf of millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans I am so proud to take this historic step,” said Karger during an impromptu press conference moments after filing his paperwork.
Given the uncertainty of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary — the primary could be moved to as early as December 6 or 13th — Secretary of State William M. Gardner has moved the filing period up by several weeks. Today was the first day for candidates to qualify.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, waging his third campaign for the White House, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and political gadfly Andy Martin of Chicago also filed for the New Hampshire Republican primary on Monday. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to file on behalf of President Obama’s re-election campaign during a visit to the state on Thursday.