As His Advisers Feud, Kanye West Moves His Presidential Campaign to Casper

Kanye 2020 dropped Cody address after the Wyoming Truth raised questions

  • Published In: Politics
  • Last Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Presidential candidate and one-time Wyoming resident Kanye West appears at a July 2020 campaign rally in North Carolina. There have been few public signs that West is actively campaigning, but his committee has spent over $246,000 since October. (Courtesy photo from Wikimedia Commons)

By CJ Baker

Special to the Wyoming Truth

Kanye West’s presidential campaign has moved its headquarters to Casper, after being told to stop using one of West’s old addresses in Cody. But it’s an open question as to whether the campaign is going anywhere.

Far-right activist Ali Alexander (center) has been advising Kanye West’s 2024 campaign. He’s come under fire after being accused of inappropriate text conversations with young men and boys. (Courtesy photo from Lucian Wintrich via Wikimedia Commons)

West’s far right political advisers are fighting amongst themselves, with two engulfed in scandal, and recent reporting suggests West may have lost interest in running for the White House in 2024. A source close to West recently told the Daily Beast that, “Anyone that is representing Ye in any political capacity is a charlatan. There is no political shop.”

His 2020 vice presidential candidate, Cody resident Michelle Tidball, told the Wyoming Truth that she’s no longer affiliated with the campaign and hasn’t been for some time.

“I don’t know anybody that Kanye is involved with right now,” Tidball said.

Courting controversy

When West launched his ill-fated run for president in 2020, he was living in Cody; he moved a portion of his Yeezy empire to the area and cast his first-ever vote at the Cody Recreation Center that fall. The Kanye 2020 candidate committee and nonprofit organization also set up shop in the city, with West listing one of his commercial properties on Cody’s main drag as their home base.

However, West effectively pulled out of Cody in the latter part of 2021, and he sold off all his commercial holdings in town. Although he continues to own a sprawling ranch south of Cody, he’s no longer living there. West’s Wyoming voter registration was canceled in February, after he skipped last year’s midterm elections, but he’s announced another run for president in 2024.

West drew widespread condemnation last fall following a series of antisemitic remarks. Business partners like Adidas and Gap severed their relationships, costing him hundreds of millions of dollars. At the same time, West more closely aligned himself with several prominent members of the far-right, including Nick Fuentes, Ali Alexander and Milo Yiannopoulos.

When West dined with former President Donald Trump in Mar-A-Lago in November, he brought along Fuentes. Given his reputation as a white supremacist, Fuentes’s presence sparked a firestorm and forced Trump to clarify that he hadn’t known who Fuentes was.

However, West has apparently stuck with Fuentes. Campaign finance reports show Kanye 2020 not only covered $14,720 worth of travel expenses for Fuentes in November, but paid him another $30,300 in January and February for “archival services” and more travel. This year’s payments to Fuentes were disclosed in a recent filing, but were overshadowed by an escalating fight between West’s former campaign adviser Yiannopoulos and Alexander and Fuentes.

Yiannopoulos, who’s drawn criticism for defending relationships “between younger boys and older men,” recently helped publicize allegations that Alexander solicited nude pictures from two underage boys, including a 17-year-old in 2019. That now-adult told the Daily Beast that Fuentes and Alexander tried to get him to retract his account, perhaps in exchange for a job in politics.

Fuentes denied the allegations against him, but distanced himself from Alexander. Alexander, who’s perhaps best known for organizing a Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6, 2021, issued an apology, but said he’d done nothing illegal and that some of the allegations are false.

Kanye West had been using this Cody business, which he hasn’t owned for over a year, as his campaign headquarters. After scrutiny, the campaign updated its address to a mailbox in Casper. (Wyoming Truth photo by CJ Baker)

An unclear future

It’s unclear where the dispute leaves West’s campaign. Kanye 2020 campaign treasurer Patrick Krason, who previously assisted with a Stop the Steal Political Action Committee tied to Alexander, didn’t respond to requests for comment. However, Krason recently “liked” a tweet that called Alexander’s behavior “inexcusable” and suggested he be removed from positions of leadership.

Even before the controversy, the campaign had undergone a shakeup, announcing a new home base and officers.

Until recently, Kanye 2020 had used one of West’s old addresses on Cody’s Big Horn Avenue — despite the fact that he’d sold that property and lost access to the mailbox back in November 2021. After the Wyoming Truth reached out to the current owners for comment in February, their attorney told the campaign to stop using their address; days later, Krason told the FEC that the campaign had switched to a virtual mailbox in Casper.

It’s also unclear how much the committee is paying AMBI Mail & Marketing to handle its mail. The only Wyoming vendor listed on the report is First Bank of Wyoming in Cody, which has received $200 in fees this year for servicing the campaign’s account.

The mailbox may have been included in the tens of thousands of dollars that Krason’s West Virginia company, FEC Compliance Services, has billed the campaign. Since December, the company has reportedly collected roughly $105,000 for “office and campaign supplies,” “legal fees,” “treasurer services” and other expenses. For instance, FEC Compliance Services received $7,400 in early February for “committee wind down consulting,” raising the possibility that Kanye 2020 may be shutting down.

Although recent reporting by the Daily Beast suggests West is not currently involved in the campaign, filings say he remains in control. When Krason updated the Kanye 2020 nonprofit’s address with the Wyoming Secretary of State last month, he left West as president while adding himself as the new secretary and treasurer. Krason replaced the rapper’s cousin, Andre Bodiford, who had overseen much of West’s business in Cody, and Tidball, who served as West’s 2020 running mate.

Tidball told the Wyoming Truth that she thought she’d ended her relationship with the campaign last year. After learning that wasn’t the case in February, “ [I] immediately started pursuing having my name removed,” she said.

“I didn’t know where funds were going, and we weren’t having regular meetings, which is required, so I didn’t want to be responsible,” Tidball explained.

Of the roughly $14.7 million that Kanye 2020 has raised since its inception, including $12.4 million worth of loans from West, the committee reported having $124,873 left at the end of March.

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