Kanye West files in Illinois to run for president

West, who was raised in Chicago, filed as an independent candidate in a long-shot, late starting White House bid.

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Kanye West makes his first presidential campaign appearance, Sunday, July 19, 2020 in North Charleston, S.C.

Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, delivered a lengthy monologue Sunday touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals.

Lauren Petracca Ipetracca/The Post And Courier via AP

Rapper Kanye West, jumping in the presidential campaign very late, filed petitions to appear on the Illinois 2020 ballot Monday minutes before the deadline.

West, who was raised in Chicago, is not running a national campaign and is scrambling to qualify for ballot status in states with different requirements.

West, who had been a supporter of President Donald Trump, said earlier this month he broke with the president.

West filed in Illinois as an independent candidate just four minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline Monday. 

The rapper filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on July 16. That filing, as well as his Illinois petitions, lists an address in Cody, Wyoming, that West bought last year, according to the Cody Enterprise.

West filed 412 traditional paper sheets with original signatures, said Matt Dietrich, spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections. Since West filed as an independent, he was required to turn in at least 2,500 signatures, 10% of the 25,000 signatures normally needed to appear on the ballot because of the pandemic.

A review of the petitions shows some pages have one or two signatures and signers come from counties around the state like downstate Effingham County and Lee County, which is due west of Chicago.

At a campaign rally Sunday, West said marijuana should be free and said everyone who has a baby should get a million dollars, in an effort to slow abortion.

He also ranted against historical figure Harriet Tubman during the rally, saying the Underground Railroad conductor “never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,” comments that drew shouts of opposition from some in the crowd.

West also posted, then deleted, a series of tweets claiming his wife, Kim Kardashian West, was trying to “bring a doctor to lock me up with a doctor,” according to NPR.

West must survive any objections to his petitions. Objections must be filed by 5 p.m. July 27; the state’s board of elections will certify the Nov. 3 ballot at its meeting Aug. 21.

Contributing: Lynn Sweet

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