Santa Rosa County Jail/Associated Press
Joe Exotic of “Tiger King” fame is running a long-shot 2024 campaign as a libertarian.
Exotic has filed the paperwork and is listed on the FEC website as a presidential candidate.
Libertarian Party chair Angela McArdle slammed Exotic’s 2024 run.
Joe Exotic of “Tiger King” fame has somehow wandered his way into the 2024 presidential race.
Exotic announced on Twitter on March 10 that he’s filed paperwork to run for president in 2024, as a candidate for the Libertarian Party. He’s listed on the FEC website as a presidential candidate under his real name, Joseph A. Maldonado.
And Exotic’s doing all this from a federal prison in Atlanta, where he’s serving a 21-year sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot.
The reality TV star assured his fans that his presidential bid won’t be impeded by the matter of him being in federal prison.
“Thank you for your interest in my Campaign. Yes, I know I am in Federal Prison and you might think this is a joke but it’s not. It is my Constitutional right to do this even from here,” Exotic wrote on his campaign website.
“So put aside that I am gay, that I am in prison for now, that I used drugs in the past, that I had more than one boyfriend at once, and that Carole hates my guts,” Exotic added, referring to his nemesis, fellow “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin. “This all has not a thing to do with me being able to be your voice.”
Exotic is right — he can run for president from prison. So could former President Donald Trump, who faces a looming indictment in New York over potential hush-money payments to the adult film actress, Stormy Daniels.
At press time, Exotic’s 2024 campaign appeared to still need some staffers. On Monday, he asked people interested in volunteering to make graphics for his campaign to send him a direct message on Twitter.
—Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) March 20, 2023
Exotic’s campaign tagline, per his tweets, appears to be “Make America Exotic.” He’s also outlined his political position, which includes “criminal justice reform,” among other loosely-defined priorities.
Exotic listed several “celebrities and influencers” who he says have endorsed him, including a man named Seth Posey, whose occupation is listed only as “Joe’s fiancé.” Also on the list is “90 Day Fiancé” cast member Jesse Meester.
And Exotic appeared to be hawking campaign merchandise on his Twitter account, from bumper stickers with the words “Joe Exotic for President” to phone cases with his face printed on them.
But not everyone is a fan. Angela McArdle, chair of the Libertarian Party, slammed Exotic’s campaign in an interview with TMZ on March 19.
“We stand for personal and economic freedom, we are not a landing pad for former reality stars and D-list celebrities,” McArdle told TMZ. She added that Exotic’s failed run for Oklahoma governor back in 2018 was “just tigers and glitter.”
Exotic remains incarcerated after failing to receive a Trump presidential pardon back in 2021.
Exotic, McArdle, and Meester did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment outside regular business hours.