- Kanye West announced Saturday his intention to run for president of the United States, tweeting "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."
- West received a range of reactions, including support from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
- Despite his tweet, the deadline to file as an independent has passed in six states and the deadline in seven others is approaching.
- With just four months until voters will head to the polls, West also hasn't appeared to register with the Federal Election Commission, though there is no official deadline to do so.
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On Saturday night, Kanye West announced in a tweet his intention to run for president.
But it's too late for him to file as an Independent candidate in six states and it doesn't appear that he has registered with the Federal Election Committee, either.
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision, and building our future," West, 43, tweeted with the hashtag #2020VISION. "I am running for president of the United States."
West's wife, the reality star and makeup mogul Kim Kardashian West, shared his announcement, adding an emoji of the US flag. Support came from outside the West family, too.
"You have my full support!" Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, tweeted in reply. Musk and West have a documented friendship. Most recently, West tweeted a photo of the two together at the beginning of July. In 2015, Musk wrote West's entry as part of Time Magazine's list of 100 most influential people.
Some speculated the 'announcement' was a publicity stunt to promote his new single
Still, others accused West of making the announcement as part of a publicity stunt on the heels of his new single "Wash Us in the Blood" and his recently announced forthcoming album "God's Country." Also in June, West announced an upcoming collaboration with Gap Inc, bringing a version of his popular Yeezy line to stores next year.
Despite his announced intentions to run for the nation's highest office, according to a Ballotpedia list of state deadlines, West has missed the deadline to register in:
- North Carolina, which required Independent candidates to register by March 3
- Texas, which required Independent candidates to register by May 11
- New York, which required Independent candidates to register by May 26
- Maine, which required Independent candidates to register by June 1
- New Mexico, which required candidates to remember by June 25
- Indiana, which required candidates to register by June 30
While West could run in these states as a write-in candidate, rules for write-in candidates vary from state to state and often do not count, according to a 2016 report from The Washington Post. According to the report, states often opt to tally up the individual votes all write-in candidates receive as one and place them in an "other" category.
It's not too late for West to appear on the ballot in the majority of states, though Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia have approaching July deadlines, according to Ballotpedia.
Candidates running for president must also register with the Federal Election Commission, which doesn't have a deadline. It doesn't appear that West has registered as a candidate with the FEC, according to publicly available records. A candidate by the name of "KANYE DEEZ NUTS WEST" registered as a presidential candidate as a member of the Green Party in 2015, though has not reported raising any funds.
West has previously embraced Trump
The rapper and fashion designer has received some criticism for his embrace of President Donald Trump. In an October 2018 meeting at the White House, West wore one of the president's signature "Make America Great Again" fire-engine red hats. He tweeted a photo of himself wearing the cap earlier that year.
West has long dabbled in the political, famously making headlines for a 2006 television appearance following Hurricane Katrina where he said that President "George Bush doesn't care about Black people."
In an interview with GQ Magazine in April, West defended his choice to wear the hat and implied that he was casting his ballot for Trump in November.
"I'm definitely voting this time. And we know who I'm voting on," West said. "And I'm not going to be told by the people around me and the people that have their agenda that my career is going to be over."
Kardashian West has also worked with the Trump administration on criminal justice reform. Most notably, she successfully lobbied the president in 2018 to commute the sentence Alice Marie Johnson, a then-63-year-old grandmother who had been serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole for her involvement in first-time, nonviolent drug crimes in 1996.
West's Twitter announcement has so far accumulated more than 450,000 retweets and 920,000 likes.
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