Kanye West

Cody’s first presidential candidate has been running a rather sporadic campaign, but is nonetheless garnering some support as a third-party candidate.

Kanye West will only appear on ballots in 12 states with his running mate and fellow Cody resident Michelle Tidball. He did not get enough signatures to make it on the Wyoming ballot.

They are running under the banner of West’s “Birthday Party.”

The campaign sued for ballot access in five additional states – Arizona, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and West Virginia – and failed on all attempts. Lawsuits were filed to keep him off the ballot in Virginia, Arizona and Idaho.

West’s campaign was accused of forging signatures to get on ballots in Wisconsin and New Jersey. A legal counsel for the Republican Party of Wisconsin was filmed dropping off signatures on West’s behalf.

On primary election day in Laramie County, repeated reports were made of signature gatherers for West and fellow independent candidate Brock Pierce working too close to polling stations and aggressively pursuing voters.

On Aug. 7, it became statistically impossible for West to win the presidential election based on the number of states he is on the ballot.

West has recruited some legitimate figures within his campaign. His electors include a former Republican Party county chairman from Vermont and a director for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in middle Tennessee, and a former executive director of the American Conservative Union was listed as a point of contact on his Arkansas filing.

West was late filing his campaign finances, drawing criticisms from some he was trying to shield his sources of campaign income.

To date, his campaign has received $11,472 in contributions, while he has chipped in $6.7 million of his own money. The campaign has spent $5.8 million and has $8.03 million in outstanding debt.

He also paid a GOP consulting firm nearly $1.3 million for its work helping him get on the ballot in various states.

Despite only being a write-in candidate in New York, it has been the state in which he has spent the most, devoting $3.05 million to his campaign there. He has had no expenses besides bank fees in Wyoming.

He has released a few campaign ads and promotions online. On his campaign website, he is selling Kanye 2020 hats and apparel ranging from $40-to-$200.

In a recent national poll, West pulled 2% of the total vote, just behind the 5% that voted for “some other candidate.” In one Iowa high school’s student vote, West and Tidball beat out both Trump and Joe Biden for president.

No third party candidate has received more than 2% of the vote in a presidential election since Ralph Nader won 2.7% of the overall vote in 2000.

In August, West was also named the vice president candidate for the American Independent Party’s presidential candidate Rocky De La Fuente. The pair are only on the California ballot. The AIP did not respond to a request for comment about West’s involvement in the campaign, but AIP representatives and De La Fuente have said West was not consulted before the nomination.

Platform

Politically, West has a mostly conservative stance with elements of social justice reform and libertarianism mixed in, according to his campaign website.

“There couldn’t be a better time to put a visionary in the captain’s chair,” he said in a recent podcast interview with Joe Rogan.

Religion is one of his foremost initiatives and West has stated he will “restore faith and revive our constitutional commitment to freedom of religion and the free exercise of one’s faith,” planning to restore prayer in public school classrooms.

West said he also plans to reform the justice system by improving disparity in verdicts and prison sentences, which can be caused by a lack of resources or financial assistance. He said he would like to make changes to policing in order to eliminate prejudice, and wants to focus law enforcement efforts on larger-scale crime.

He also wants to reform the education system for the benefit of at-risk and vulnerable populations to allow the greatest possible range of educational and vocational opportunities.

Regarding foreign affairs he plans to initiate an ‘America-first’ type approach.

“We must project strength, not aggression,” he said. “We want trust, but we also must verify.”

He said he plans to maintain a strong national defense, “fully prepared, but not so quick to tie up our country’s young men and women in foreign quagmires that do not advance our national interest and which last for decades.”

Behind the campaign

West recently said his “calling is to be the leader of the free world.” He said Trump winning the election inspired him to run as well.

“When I saw Trump win, [I could see] that you can win if you come from outside of politics.”

West has expressed mostly support for Trump but has been much more critical of Biden and the Democratic party. He said the Democrats have curried black voters with the promise of welfare, leading to that demographic becoming dependent on the party and unmotivated to become self-sufficient.

“It’s about keeping poor people poor and rich people rich and keeping people in their place,” West said. “People are so programmed and brainwashed into classism and protectionism that it’s difficult for people to embrace innovation unless it has a tag on it that’s got a name brand on it that says, ‘with this innovation you will be better than your next-door neighbor.’”

Naming vice presidential candidates is typically more of formality for third party candidates.

Tidball has made no public comment since the news was announced she is West’s VP, a fact she confirmed with the Enterprise in July.

West said on a South Carolina radio station he asked fellow hip-hop artist Jay-Z to replace Tidball on the ballot. In September, she was reimbursed for $966.74 in airfare, according to campaign filings.

(19) comments

silentmajority

If the Kanye West coverage bothers someone, then just don't read it. Nobody is forced to read anything.

As for being a resident of Cody, apparently he is now so why the complaints?

His run for President may seem frivolous to most of us but he's spending his own money in a way he sees fit, just like the rest of us.

I have never been a fan of his or his music but he seems to be a nice enough person.

He is a Conservative Christian who works toward spreading the "Good News" of Christ's salvation through his ministry and in his latest music. He has taken a strong and public stand against abortion. He advocates for people in the Black community to become less dependent of government (tax payers) and more self sufficient and self reliant. He has endeavored to start a business in town and if successful, will offer jobs and pay taxes to the locale. And he is concerned with some of the social injustices in today's society.

It seems to me that he has a lot in common with most of the Conservative, Liberal and Progressive residents of Cody.

The man is different and an outsider, and that can be off-putting for some, I understand that. But in his own way he is just another in a long line of adventurers who have come to this area looking to find something and to do something positive with their lives.

So long as he's not harming, taking or bothering others why can't he just "Live and Let Live"? Isn't that a basic tenant of Conservatism? Isn't Conservatism about preserving long standing family values? It seems he's trying to do that, just like the rest of us try to do.

Let's leave the guy alone to his affairs and we can mind our own.

Freecitizen

We used to treat mental illness. Now we celebrate, encourage, and protect it.

Carvin

I don't know about any of you but, am getting sick and tired and reading about every little juke and jive about this guy. I'm not really even mad at Kanye, I'm just disappointed that our local paper has this infatuation over him. Are you now the Kanye-Prise?

DeweyV

Aaarrrgghhh...another journalism commandment broken. You tell us Kanye is on the ballot in 12 states, then don't bother listing those states . But instead you tell us the states where he tried to get on the ballot, and didn't.

Is this what passes for newspapering these days ? Or perhaps there is an unstated reason why you deliver a half-truth ?

SL Joens

Mr. West - we've indulged you long enough. True, you kept us entertained with your arrival here in Cody Country and the supposed economic guru was proclaiming you'd be a game changer. Well, we're tired of the games, Mr. West. It was fun while it lasted but alas, you've worn out your welcome. You can get to Hollyweird from here...get yourself a one way ticket and wave us all bye bye. Thanks for your consideration to this matter. Signed - a whole bunch of use here in Park County

XMonkey

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Yeah, right. Disgusting comment.

GoatHntr

Good lord Enterprise, PLEASE....will your fixation with this guy ever end? If we all ignore hime, maybe Conway will go away

yellowcat

Someone who makes a mess, doesn't pay his bills, & leaves? Yeah, downright presidential. Also, he's not from Cody!

2weird2live2rare2die

So how long does one have to live in Cody to be from there? Do they have to own 19 guns, wear camouflage year round, name all their kids Cody or Ruger or Remington or Colt?! Is that what it takes to be from here? Ride a 4 wheeler on a ranch while talking on an IPhone and call themselves a “cowboy” ? Is that why you to do to qualify? Because if it is..that’s sad. 😂👍🏻

Whatsup

One year or empty promises in a 14 million dollar ranch

DeweyV

Kanye West is in fact a legal resident of Park County WY now . He is also registered to vote here.

Freecitizen

"On Aug. 7, it became statistically impossible for West to win the presidential election based on the number of states he is on the ballot." I hate to break it to the Enterprise Staff, but if he had successfully registered in all 50 states, it would still be statistically impossible for West to win the presidential election.

B-52

Maybe when Kanye gets over his presidential fantasy, he can pay all the people in Cody he owes money to.

Gunrunner Auctions

Yawn....

2weird2live2rare2die

He certainly seems more “level headed” then the other two clowns running. 😂

Harald Hardrada

The little "barf" emoticon is not available yet, but that is my sentiment.

2weird2live2rare2die

He will have a better chance in 2024. Hope he runs.

Whatsup

Is this really who we want representing United States of America he's got my vote heck NO

RagnarFallbrook

I'd vote for a Kanye West & Alex Jones ticket. If only just to watch the madness.

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