According to the Associated Press, Kanye’s campaign withdrew a petition to be included on the ballot through an email sent to a local judge. In the email obtained by AP, an unidentified person from a Kanye 2020 address wrote to Administrative Law Judge Gail Cookson to convey West’s decision to drop the petition.
“At this time, Kanye 2020 has no further option than to regrettably withdraw from New Jersey and cease further efforts to place Mr. West’s name on the New Jersey ballot,” the email sent late Monday read.
Cookson accepted the campaign’s decision.
“I will consider this email as a request for a withdrawal of your petition to be placed in nomination for the President of the United States in the State of New Jersey,” Cookson wrote in response.
Since announcing his decision to run for president this fall, Kanye and his political team (yes he has one) have been working to get Mr. West put on ballots across the country. It’s unclear why his team may be backing down from New Jersey, though the move does come after backlash from attorney Scott Salmon, who scrutinized the campaign's petition. Salmon alleged that some signatures on the petition were in incomplete or shared similar handwriting to others.
“I am glad that the Kanye campaign has realized that their petition was so deficient that it wasn’t even worth defending,” Salmon told the AP. “It sort of highlights the fact that it shouldn’t have been submitted in the first place.”
Outside of New Jersey, West recently filed a petition to be included on the ballot in Arkansas. Those documents revealed that he chose Michelle Tidball as his official vice presidential candidate. Recent reports have also revealed that West’s political team consists of at least two GOP members, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.