Stop the presses: Kanye West’s political ambitions aren’t finished.
The unpredictable hip-hop superstar has filed with the Federal Election Commission and has qualified to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot, the Associated Press reports.
This just hours after a wave of reports which claimed West had failed to file the requisite paperwork and was no longer in the U.S. 2020 presidential race.
West met the deadline for a spot on the state’s Nov. 3 presidential ballot and paid the $35,000 filing, according to a spokesperson for the Board of Elections in Oklahoma.
Two other independent candidates also paid fees ahead of the cut-off: concert pianist Jade Simmons and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Brock Pierce.
The West campaign filed a “Statement of Organization” on Wednesday (July 16) with the Federal Election Commission, stating that his team would serve as principal campaign committee for a West candidacy. The FEC Form 1 filed under the name Kanye 2020, listed a Cody, Wyoming, address and BDY (Birthday) Party as the affiliated third party and West as its Presidential candidate. A spokesperson for the FEC confirmed that they were in receipt of the Statement of Organization form under that name but could not confirm the legitimacy of the filing at press time. Billboard has reached out to the treasurer/custodian of records listed on the form that was filed on West’s behalf for confirmation.
On Thursday (July 16), 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 then $5,000 in campaign activity, triggering candidacy status under federal campaign finance law; that form, too, listed a Cody, Wyoming, address.
Whether this is just a stunt or whether Kanye will actually mount a serious run is, at this late stage, pure guesswork. He’s missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in several states, and Team West have a lot of work to do — including the collection of thousands of signatures — in order to meet requirements.
The “Black Skinhead” rapper announced his entry into the presidential arena in a July 4 tweet. “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION,” he wrote at the time.
Despite Kanye’s optimism, his political dream didn’t appear to have much foundation. On July 14, NYMag’s Intelligencer reported that his campaign had wound down after he tried, and failed, to get on Florida’s ballot.
In a follow-up interview published in Forbes, West made an unusual pre-election pledge. Should he win the race, he would like the White House to function like the fictional nation of Wakanda from Marvel Comics’ Black Panther franchise.