Update: July 15, 2020 at 5:45 p.m. ET
Hours after reports surfaced that Kanye West had dropped his bid to become president, the rap megastar may have changed his mind and once again be in the running.
A “Statement of Organization” form was filed with the Federal Election Commission today registering West as a candidate, who is running under the “BDY” party, shorthand for “Birthday.” The form sets up a Principal Campaign Committee for the multihyphenate and lists Andre Bodiford as its campaign custodian of records and treasurer under a Cody, Wyo. address. (In recent years, West has purchased ranches in the area and is looking to bring his Yeezy operation to the city.)
According to a Daily News report, FEC spokesman Christian Hilland told the publication that a “Statement of Candidacy” must be filed before his presidential run is official and that the form is only activated if West raises or spends “more than $5,000 in campaign activity.”
What We Originally Reported
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Kanye West’s bid for the presidency appears to have been short-lived.
Steve Kramer, a get-out-the-vote specialist hired to help West get on the ballot in Florida and South Carolina, told New York Magazine the Yeezy designer is “out” of the race. West has yet to confirm or deny the report.
Kramer said that his staff were “disappointed” that West had dropped his presidential bid, adding that “Everyone has their personal decision about why they make decisions. Running for president has to be one of the hardest things for someone to actually contemplate at that level.”
Less than two weeks ago, on July 4, West announced his presidential run via Twitter.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future,” he wrote. “I am running for president of the United States.”
While many thought the tweet might be a publicity stunt ahead of an album release, West had been publicly mulling a presidential bid since 2016.
“When I talk about the idea of being president, I’m not saying I have any political views,” he said in a 2016 interview with BBC Radio host Annie Mac. “I don’t have views on politics, I just have a view on humanity, on people, on the truth. If there is anything that I can do with my time to somehow make a difference while I’m still alive, I’m all for it.”
Additionally, West appeared to confirm in a Forbes interview several days later that he was serious in his decision to run. The rapper also told Forbes he was done with President Donald Trump, whom he had vocally supported for years.
Already an Adidas collaborator for several years — his Adidas Yeezy line reportedly made $1.3 billion in revenue for 2019, with West pocketing around $140 million — West in June announced a blockbuster deal with Gap. The new apparel partnership will yield a Yeezy Gap line, which is expected to appear in Gap stores and on Gap.com in 2021. The terms of the partnership, Gap said, will give Yeezy royalties and potential equity related to sales achievement.
If West were to have become president in 2020, he would have been the second straight billionaire in the White House. In April, Forbes estimated West’s net worth is about $1.3 billion. That figure includes $1.26 billion from the A-lister’s Yeezy empire, as he owns 100% of the Yeezy brand. The designer’s net worth additionally includes $102 million in real estate holdings, as well as roughly $90 million from his musical label and his recording and publishing rights.