GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger campaigned in West Michigan on Wednesday.
Karger spent the morning in Kalamazoo and will speak to Grand Valley State University's LGBT Resource Center Wednesday night.
He plans to be along the lakeshore again on Monday.
Karger isn't getting the type of attention other Republicans in the race for president are receiving.
The 62-year-old Californian is running as the first openly gay candidate of a major political party.
Karger sat down with 24 Hour News 8 to speak about his campaign. He is only on the ballot in a handful of states.
Karger received 0.1% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary and has struggled to be included in the Republican debates.
Most of his events are geared toward college students, who he says are more open to a candidate who is more fiscally conservative and socially liberal.
Karger is a long-time political activist, having worked on a number of presidential campaigns, including those of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Karger owned his own small business and has spent the past four years as an activist for gay rights.
He told 24 hour News 8 he is in favor of smaller government and a balanced budget amendment.
Karger says he agreed with President Obama's bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, and the actions taken by President George W. Bush before Obama took office.
Karger also said he is often called a RINO, or Republican in Name Only, but he disagrees with that label, saying he believes in a "big tent" philosophy for the Republican party.
"Who is to say who can be a Republican?" Karger asked.
Karger will be one of 11 candidates on Tuesday's Michigan Republican Primary ballot. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich are the other four candidates actively seeking the nomination. Former candidates Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain will have their names on the ballot as well, though they are no longer running for president.
Gary Johnson's name will appear on the ballot; however, he has abandoned his Republican campaign and will instead be the Libertarian Party's candidate for president in November.
Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer's name is also on the ballot. Sources in his campaign say Roemer will announce Thursday that he is dropping out of the Republican race and will instead run on a third party ballot in November.
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