An official from the Republican Party in Iowa has threatened to “abort” the campaign of Fred Karger, the openly gay Republican considering a run for the White House.

Steve Scheffler sent Karger an unsolicited email saying he'll work to end his candidacy in Iowa.

In a response to a statement released by Karger's office lauding a judge's ruling against the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage, Scheffler accused Karger of harassing opponents of gay marriage.

“You and the radical homosexual community want to harass supporters of REAL marriage,” Scheffler wrote. “... I will work overtime to help ensure that your political aspirations are aborted right here in Iowa.”

Scheffler is the RNC's National Committeman in Iowa. He is also the head of the Iowa Christian Alliance, a group opposed to gay rights. Reparative therapy – the controversial treatment that promises to turn gay people straight and has been rejected as ineffective and unnecessary by mainstream mental health groups – is promoted on the group's website.

In an inquiry by the Des Moines Register, Scheffler admitted to penning the email, but refused to back down: “I'm not going to get involved in the presidential caucuses but I'm going to call a spade a spade. When you have somebody who is this far out of the mainstream of the political party I'm just going to tell them what I think.”

Karger placed himself out of that mainstream when after decades managing the campaigns of Republican candidates, including six presidential hopefuls, he came out gay and in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

In 2008, Karger founded Californians Against Hate to mobilize against major donors to California's anti-gay marriage initiative, Proposition 8. He's also targeted NOM and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), filing formal complaints with state election officials in California and Maine against both groups.

Groups such as Scheffler's are pressuring Republican lawmakers to roll back last year's state Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage. All gubernatorial candidates vying for the Iowa GOP nomination support putting the issue up for a popular vote.

The Iowa GOP has taken been “taken over by the Christian coalition,” Karger lamented to On Top Magazine in an email.

Saying his candidacy will “shake it up,” Karger added that he's working overtime to “help put a face on the gay community, help organize the LGBTQ base and friends and hopefully keep guys like Mr. Scheffler, and the far right candidates for president, in check a little.”