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Kanye West qualifies for Tennessee presidential ballot

NASHVILLE — Rapper and producer Kanye West will be on Tennessee’s presidential ballot in November, the state election’s office confirmed.

The secretary of state’s office announced this week that West cleared the 275 verified signature threshold to qualify as an unaffiliated presidential candidate. He will appear on the ballot with running mate Michelle Tidball, a 57-year-old spiritual coach from Cody, Wyoming.

West has qualified in a handful of states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Oklahoma and Utah.

West announced a presidential bid in July, saying he’s seeking the nation’s highest office on a ticket he calls the “Birthday Party.”

West has since been gathering signatures to get on the ballot in several states. Democrats claim Republicans are pushing West’s candidacy in several swing states to siphon Black votes away from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

West, who once backed Republican President Donald Trump, announced last month that he had broken with Trump and would launch his own presidential bid.

Trump won Tennessee’s presidential election in 2016 by 26 percentage points, carrying all but four of the state’s 95 counties.

Perennial candidate Rocky de la Fuente along with Jo Jorgensen and Alyson Kennedy have also qualified as independent presidential candidates in Tennessee. Other candidates are still being reviewed by the secretary of state’s office.

The Associated Press

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