“Bice: Wisconsin Republicans help Kanye West in his attempt to get on state presidential ballot”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

The rapper’s campaign turned in a number of signatures on Tuesday in a bid to get on the November presidential ballot in Wisconsin. He is making similar attempts in Ohio, Arkansas and West Virginia.

Reid Magney, spokesman for the state Elections Commission, said it could be several days before officials confirm that West has enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot as an independent candidate representing the Birthday Party. 

It was a pretty impressive feat that West’s campaign was able to submit as many signatures as it did by Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline. His campaign filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission only 2 1/2 weeks ago.

But it certainly helped that the billionaire rapper got support from a handful of Republicans in Wisconsin. Many believe a West candidacy would divert votes from former Vice President Joe Biden, who has clinched the Democratic presidential nomination and will face President Donald Trump in November. 

First, West’s nominating petitions were dropped off with state regulators by Lane Ruhland, a top Republican lawyer and former general counsel for the state GOP. 

Ruhland did not return calls on Tuesday evening. But Cameron Joseph, a reporter with Vice News, did reach her and tweeted about it: “Ruhland didn’t deny it when I called her: ‘I’m going to leave any comment about the petitions, the papers and what is going on the campaign itself.'” …

Then there are the 10 electors that West’s campaign had to round up to make it on the ballot here.

The electors have to pledge to vote for West at the Electoral College if he were to win the state. Independent candidates have to submit an elector for each of the state’s eight congressional districts as well as two at-large electors. 

According to their social media accounts, several of the electors are very big Trump supporters or second- or third-tier Republican activists. 

J.M. McCoy of Wauwatosa is West’s elector for the state’s 5th Congressional District. McCoy could not be reached late Tuesday. But there is a J.M. McCoy from Wauwatosa who is a national committeeman for the Wisconsin Young Republicans.

West’s elector for the 3rd Congressional District is James Smith of Stoddard. On his Facebook page, Stoddard has of a picture of his house with a Trump sign in front of it.

Contacted by the Journal Sentinel, Smith was tight-lipped about his support for West: “I have no comment at this time.” 

Other West electors are also strong supporters of Republicans. 

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