Rapper Kanye West is apparently not dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, despite a previous report claiming otherwise.
West hasn’t said he’s still in the race, but his campaign has filed some paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, indicating he still intends to run. On Wednesday, the same day a report surfaced that a former consultant for West said the candidate was out of the race, the rapper filed a statement of organization with the FEC establishing a principal campaign committee called Kanye 2020. Also on Wednesday, West met the requirements to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot, The Associated Press reported.
“A representative for West filed the necessary paperwork and paid the $35,000 filing Wednesday afternoon, which was the deadline for a spot on the state’s Nov. 3 presidential ballot, said Oklahoma Board of Elections spokeswoman Misha Mohr. He was one of three independent presidential candidates to pay the filing fee prior to the deadline, she added. The others were concert pianist Jade Simmons and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Brock Pierce,” the AP reported.
The outlet added that West has “missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and it’s unclear if he is willing or able to collect enough signatures required to qualify in others.”
Billboard reported that on Thursday, “West appeared to take the second important step to officially launch a White House run with the filing of an FEC Form 2 (Statement of Candidacy), which is filed once an individual has raised or spent more [than] $5,000 in campaign activity, triggering candidacy status under federal campaign finance law; that form, too, listed a Cody, Wyoming, address.”
John Mark Hansen, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, told the outlet he believed West’s campaign was about publicity.
“Not to be flip, but I think the answer is that he gets to say he is a presidential candidate, he will get some additional publicity, and he can afford it,” Hansen, who has no firsthand knowledge of West’s campaign, told Billboard. “He seems to have a high opinion of himself. Like a lot of celebrities, though, I suspect he’s hungry for attention and he’ll get it. Anybody else with $5,000 [the amount a candidate must spend or raise to trigger an official campaign by FEC rules] isn’t going to get any attention at all, except maybe in the local paper.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, campaign specialist Steve Kramer, who had been hired to help get West on the ballot in several states, told New York Magazine’s Intelligencer that the rapper was out:
Kramer told the outlet that West’s team was “working over weekend there, formalizing the FEC and other things that they’ve got to do when you have a lot of corporate lawyers involved.”
The Intelligencer reached out to West’s publicist, who added another spokesperson to the email chain. No one said anything for a while, so the Intelligencer reached back out to Kramer, who said simply, “He’s out.” When asked for details, Kramer told the outlet: “I’ll let you know what I know once I get all our stuff canceled. We had over 180 people out there today.”