Kanye West qualifies as presidential candidate in Utah

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Kanye West makes his first presidential campaign appearance, Sunday, July 19, 2020 in North Charleston, S.C. Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, delivered a lengthy monologue Sunday touching on topics from abortion and religion to international trade and licensing deals. Whether he’s actually seeking the nation’s highest office remains a question. (Lauren Petracca Ipetracca/The Post And Courier via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rapper Kanye West has qualified to appear on Utah’s ballot this November as an unaffiliated presidential candidate, an elections official said Monday.

State Elections Director Justin Lee said his office has verified that West’s campaign gathered the necessary 1,000 signatures from registered voters required to appear on the ballot.

West, who once backed Republican President Donald Trump, announced last month that he had broken with Trump and would launch his own presidential bid. His campaign filed paperwork on July 15 with the Federal Election Commission.

West has so far qualified in several states including Arkansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. His effort to get on the ballot has been challenged in Wisconsin.

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Sophia Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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