LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kanye West on Friday filed to run for president in Kentucky, Secretary of State Michael Adams announced in a tweet.
Adams wrote that his office is reviewing the filing to determine if West has qualified to appear on the ballot.
One name not among the 19,000 Kentuckians who singned West's petition is Rena Patterson. Last week, she stepped out of her car at a Walmart in Louisville’s East End and was approached by two men who asked her to sign a petition that would get West on the ballot in November.
“Absolutely not,” said Patterson, who was wearing a Joe Biden face mask at the time. “We don’t have time for this.”
A 49-year-old healthcare worker, Patterson is one of many Kentuckians reporting encounters with canvassers gathering signatures to get the rapper, fashion mogul, and aspiring politician on the ballot. They're in parks, strip malls, and campuses. And they have deployed tactics that have some questioning their ethics.
If West's filing is approved by Adams, he and his running mate, Wyoming spiritual coach Michelle Tidball, will become the seventh pair of candidates on Kentucky’s presidential ballot.
West has already secured his place on the ballot in at least 10 states, including Tennessee. Last Thursday, his campaign submitted more than 275 signatures of Tennessee voters, enough for him to get a shot at the state’s 11 electoral votes this fall.
But West’s unconventional campaign, which began in late July with an event where he spoke in a bulletproof vest, has encountered problems in some states. Last week, he was denied a spot on Missouri’s ballot after falling short of the required 10,000 signatures. His petition had only 6,557. West also missed out on a spot on the ballot in Wyoming, where he recently moved, after missing the August 24 deadline to submit 4,025 signatures. In Ohio, West submitted nearly three times the 5,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, but his bid was rejected over paperwork issues. On Thursday, judges in both Arizona and Virginia ordered West removed from their state's respective ballots.
In some states, including Wisconsin and Colorado, West’s attempts to get on the ballot have won the support of Republican operatives and activists. National Democrats are accusing West, a vocal Trump supporter before launching his own campaign, of working to siphon votes from Biden. "I don't think there's any question about that," House Majority Whip James Clyburn said last week when asked if West’s goal was to hurt the Democratic nominee. Neither the Kentucky Democratic Party nor the Republican Party of Kentucky responded to requests for comment.
Like Clyburn, Willie Davis is suspicious of West’s candidacy. When the 40-year-old Kentucky State University professor was approached last weekend at a Lexington farmers market and asked to sign a petition to put West on the ballot, he explained his apprehension.
“I said, ‘I fear you’re trying to take votes away from Joe Biden in order to re-elect Trump,” Davis said. He added: “I don’t like Donald Trump.”
The canvasser replied,“Yeah. You get it. That’s what we’re doing.”
Davis did not sign.