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GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses

Posted on the 21 May 2011 by ---
By this point in the election cycle, the 2012 Republican primary field has finally started to take shape.  We've learned that Mike Pence, Haley Barbour, Donald Trump, and Mike Huckabee (among others) will not seek the nation's highest office.  But, we've also gained some insight about who will.  Though there is an extremely high probability that I will support President Obama in his reelection campaign, here are some Republican outsiders who have captured my interest so far:

    GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses
Buddy Roemer (website)  The former Louisiana Governor's stints as a both a conservative Democrat and a moderate Republican make him an intriguing option.  So does his pledge to separate monetary interests and government, which he is backing up with a refusal to accept more than $100 from any single donor throughout the duration of his campaign.  Roemer is notable for raising teacher salaries, proposing tax hikes, promoting environmental initiatives, reforming campaign finance, and cutting spending during his tenure as governor.  However, he also advocated for an expanded gambling industry and endured accusations of cronyism.
    GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses
Fred Karger (website)  Karger is the first openly gay Republican to seek his party's nomination.  A seasoned campaign operative, Karger has several entertaining campaign ads on the airwaves.  His issues include increasing the civic involvement of young people, standing up for LGBT rights, creating a spirit of cooperation, and pursuing alternative energy.  A former aide in the Reagan Administration, Karger has made it quite clear that he intends to follow in what he sees as the Gipper's footsteps.  Sadly, an RNC member in Iowa has already sent a homophobic email pledging to stop Karger's aspirations.
    GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses
Gary Johnson (website)  Former New Mexico Governor Johnson, a triathlete who has climbed Mt. Everest, has said he would make encouraging fitness and health a priority as President.  Johnson also favors legalizing marijuana, and he recently garnered the endorsement of country artist Willie Nelson.  In the arena of more mainstream areas of policy, Johnson favors allowing the Patriot Act to expire, upholding Roe v. Wade, and bringing troops home from our three foreign wars.  But on fiscal policy, Johnson is party line, supporting a much smaller government and an end to 'Obamacare.'
Will any of these three candidates win?  Probably not.  But if they get a chance to present their views on a national level and generate a discussion about meaningful issues, it can only be a thing of value for a Republican party that is increasingly limited by ideological litmus testing. GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses GOP Field Full of Fascinating Dark Horses

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