Kanye West is a Presidential Candidate, But He’s Not a Wyoming Voter Anymore
Candidate’s campaign lists incorrect address in Cody
- Published In: Other News & Features
- Last Updated: Feb 28, 2023
Kanye West arrives at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody for a September 2019 Sunday Service. West drew a large, supportive crowd for the event, but his later presidential campaign never caught on in Wyoming. (Wyoming Truth photo by CJ Baker)
By CJ Baker
Special to the Wyoming Truth
Kanye West may still be a candidate for president, but he’s no longer a registered voter in Wyoming — and he no longer has access to his purported campaign mailbox in Cody.
Last fall, the rapper and entrepreneur now legally known as Ye announced he will again run for president in 2024. A recent financial report shows his campaign committee, Kanye 2020, spent over $142,000 on various political services between October and December, all classified as being related to the 2024 primary election.
But West will again face long odds. His 2020 presidential campaign — launched while he was living at a ranch south of Cody — largely fizzled. And his business partnerships and reputation took a substantial hit last fall after he made a series of antisemitic comments that included downplaying the Holocaust and insisting that Adolf Hitler “has a lot of redeeming qualities.”
West’s recent report to the Federal Election Commission highlights the hurdles facing his campaign. For instance, Kanye 2020 reported paying $14,720 in November and December to cover travel expenses for right-wing activist Nick Fuentes. The FBI has described Fuentes as a “white supremacist,” and when West brought the activist with him to a November dinner with former President Donald Trump, it spurred a media and political firestorm.
Trump later took to his social media platform to say he didn’t know Fuentes and was only trying to help West, who he called “a seriously troubled man.”
“I told him don’t run for office, a total waste of time,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
But instead, West asked Trump to be his vice president and continued his campaign, though it’s unclear exactly where the effort is based.
In a Jan. 31 report with the FEC, Kanye 2020 again listed its mailing address as 3202 Big Horn Avenue, a 3.76 acre commercial property within the City of Cody that includes a 4,800 square foot building; the FEC itself had addressed a letter to that location on Jan. 26. However, West hasn’t owned the property for well over a year. He listed it for just under $1.3 million and sold it to a limited liability company owned by a pair of Cody businessmen, Gordon and Josh Allison, in November 2021.
An attorney for GordonJosh, LLC said Thursday that West’s campaign and related entities do not have permission to use the Big Horn Avenue mailing address and “are using said address without consent.”
“If the FEC (or anyone) is sending the mail [to West] there, it is not being delivered or is being delivered and being taken by someone without my client’s knowledge,” attorney Sarah Miles said. She added that the company’s legal counsel “will be investigating this matter and pursuing all available avenues and remedies.”
The Wyoming Truth reached out to the Kanye 2020 campaign via email about the apparently invalid mailing address, but didn’t receive a response by publication time.
West still owns the 3,888-acre ranch south of Cody and another spanning more than 6,700 acres in the Bighorn Mountains to the east, while Kanye 2020 continues to use a Cody bank account. However, there’s been no indication that West still considers Wyoming to be his primary place of residence, and the state didn’t play a large role in his 2020 campaign. West failed to make the ballot here and drew only 14 of the 16,717 votes cast for president in his then-home of Park County. One of those votes came from West himself, who revealed on Twitter that he’d written in his own name for president and left the rest of the ballot blank.
“Today I am voting for the first time in my life for the President of the United States, and it’s for someone I truly trust…me,” West wrote before casting his ballot at the Cody Recreation Center — an act that drew local and national media coverage.
When he’d registered to vote in Park County a few months earlier, West similarly drew attention by bringing an entourage to film something of a PSA.
“I just want to show everybody how easy it is to vote here,” West said in the video, which was viewed some 2.8 million times on Twitter before the 2020 general election.
However, his Twitter account and the video were removed from public view in December after he posted an image of a swastika inside the Star of David. Further, Park County voter registry lists obtained by the Wyoming Truth show West was removed from the county’s voter rolls on Feb. 1; that was because of a state law requiring county clerks to cancel the registrations of those who fail to vote in a general election (and don’t ask to remain active).
West was not unique in skipping the November 2022 midterms in Wyoming: Voter registration records indicate roughly 86,000 people — or over a quarter of the state’s registered voters — were “purged” from the rolls.
In Wyoming, candidates for state and local offices must be a registered voter, but the U.S. Constitution places no such requirement on federal candidates. So the cancellation of West’s registration will have no impact on his ability to run for president.
The bigger impediment may be the fallout from his antisemitic remarks. A poll conducted by The Economist/YouGov in early December found West was viewed unfavorably by 69% of respondents.