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'Tiger King' Joe Exotic announces 2024 presidential bid

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

PENSACOLA, Fla. --  Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic” or the “Tiger King, has announced he is running for president in 2024.

Maldonado-Passage made the announcement on social media Wednesday, with a link to his campaign site.

"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," a statement from Maldonado-Passage's campaign site says in part.

Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 21-year prison sentence for multiple charges including animal abuse, and two counts of attempted murder-for-hire in regards a scheme to kill prominent animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

"The only thing I did was put five very old, crippled tigers to sleep in the most humane way possible and it was approved by my USDA Inspector, so it's time to get over it. PETA kills thousands of animals a year. Carole has killed over 226 big cats and most of you eat some kind of animal everyday, so it's time to move past this issue," Maldonado-Passage states in his campaign message.

Maldonado-Passage attempted to appeal his conviction in 2022, but was denied.

"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 then one boyfriend at once and that Carole hates my guts. This all has not a thing to do with me being able to be your voice," Maldonado-Passage states. "The best thing you have going for supporting me is that I am used to fighting my whole life just to get by. I am broke, they have taken everything I ever worked for away, and it's time we take this country back."

Although Maldonado-Passage has announced his 2024 presidential bid, he has yet to file required documentation with the Federal Election Commission.

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