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Widely known as Joe Exotica or Tiger King, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, has announced that he is running for president!

Maldonado-Passage announced his bid by launching his campaign website all while serving a 21-year federal sentence for multiple charges including murder for hire.  On the site, Maldonado-Passage is quoted saying, “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.”

Joseph Maldonado-Passage

Source: Santa Rose County Jail / Santa Rose County Jail

Maldonado-Passage goes on in his message to talk about corruption in our government and how he has a voice to hold people accountable.  “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. 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.  And yes, I have people in mind that can help run this country a hell of a lot better then they are now, so lets cross that bridge when we get to it.”

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Maldonado-Passage is running as a libertarian and goes into detail on his site about his platform including topics such as prison reform, criminal justice reform, ending complete immunity, immigration, taxes, and more.

He became a household name during the pandemic after a Netflix documentary called ‘Tiger King’ became popular.  The documentary showed his life through home videos and friends’ testimonies before and after his 2018  federal indictment on two counts of murder-for-hire of proclaimed rival Carole Baskin. Maldonado-Passage was also accused of falsifying records relating to the tigers, lions, and a baby lemur and many other charges.  He recently appealed his sentence but that was denied.  His release date is currently set for the year 2036.