UPDATE: Some of the feedback we’ve received from this piece came along the lines that it’s inappropriate to refer to Fred Phelps as a “Democrat activist.”
We stand by that characterization. If anything, it’s an understatement.
Fred Phelps ran for major office in Kansas as a Democrat no less than four times. He ran for governor on the Democrat ballot in 1990, 1994 and 1998 and for senator in 1992. Phelps received 11,000 votes, or seven percent, in 1990, he received 5,000 votes, or three percent, in 1994 and he picked up 15,000 votes, or 15 percent, in 1998. And in the senatorial contest in 1992 he garnered 49,000 votes, or 30 percent. Phelps furthermore ran as a Democrat candidate for mayor of Topeka in 1993 and 1997.
Phelps also has been closely associated with Al Gore on several occasions throughout Gore’s career – Phelps’ son Fred, Jr. was a Gore delegate at the 1988 Democrat convention and the Phelpses hosted a Gore fundraiser in Topeka that year. Phelps claims that Westboro members “ran” Gore’s 1988 campaign in Kansas.
Phelps may not fit within the typical definition of “Democrat activist” some of our readers expect – but a six-time Democrat candidate is an activist Democrat. That is quite clear, as unknown to the public as it might be.