News broke on Tuesday that political activist Jack Gargan, best known for his support of third party candidates and calls for term limits, passed away at the age of 88.
Based out of Cedar Key for much of his time on the political stage, Gargan became politically active in the early 1990s when he was in his early 60s, including serving as one of the leaders of the movement to draft Ross Perot into the 1992 presidential race.
Gargan created Throw the Hypocritical Rascals Out (THRO), a group which supported defeating every congressional incumbent and passing term limits.
Gargan launched a primary challenge to Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1994, taking 28 percent in the Democratic primary despite spending less than $70,000. Gargan pulled 34 percent when he ran for Congress on the Reform Party line in 1998. As an ally of Gov. Jesse Ventura, I-Minn., and drawing some opposition from the Perot camp, Gargan served as national chairman of the Reform Party before being ousted by allies of conservative commentator Pat Buchanan who was the party’s presidential candidate in 2000.
Reform Party gubernatorial nominee Darcy Richardson, a historian and political activist, weighed in on Tuesday on Gargan.
“I was terribly saddened to learn of the recent passing of Jack Gargan,” Richardson said. “He was an incredibly kind man who was a passionate fighter for the causes that he believed in. While our team is going to be working tirelessly today to reach voters in the final hours of this campaign, I know we will all take a moment to remember Jack’s immense contributions. There would have never been a Reform Party if it wasn’t for the work that he did, and he will be deeply missed.”