But this time may — at least for a moment — be different. According to multiple campaign professionals who spoke with Intelligencer, West took early steps last week toward getting his name on the ballot in Florida and other states as a third-party candidate running against Joe Biden and Donald Trump….
The source had been approached about going to Florida on West’s behalf to help gather the signatures needed to make the ballot in the state by the July 15 deadline. This person was offered $5,000 for the week’s work. In order to qualify for the ballot in the Sunshine State, West would need to gather 132,781 valid signatures from Florida voters in less than a week.
On the morning of July 9, TMZ reported that West’s family was concerned that the billionaire rapper was suffering a bipolar episode based on his presidential aspirations. The well-sourced tabloid website added “our sources say his family and those close to him are worried, but they believe things will stabilize as they have in the past.”
Later that day, I talked to Steve Kramer. He is a get-out-the-vote specialist who runs a firm that also helps candidates get on the ballot. Kramer, who has worked mostly for Democratic candidates but has also had some Republican clients, told me that he had been hired to help West get on the ballot in Florida and South Carolina. He added that his understanding was that West’s team was “working over weekend there, formalizing the FEC and other things that they’ve got to do when you have a lot of corporate lawyers involved.”
The signature-gathering process was described as ongoing, and Kramer said “we had overwhelming support to get him on the ballot.” He added, “Whether anybody is going to vote for him or not is up to them.” Kramer described the effort as including both paid and volunteer efforts to get signatures. “They got a lot of people who they’ve got both on their volunteer side and their contracted side,” said Kramer.
This all seemed real enough, and I reached out to West’s publicist for a response. The initial response was to loop in another spokesperson on the email. West’s team then went dark. As I waited for a response, I followed up with Kramer who told me, “He’s out.”