Kanye West filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday in his first official step toward running for president in November.
The rapper filled out the first form required by the FEC to run for president – Form 1: Statement of Organization – declaring that the Kanye 2020 committee will serve as the ‘Principal Campaign Committee’ with West as its candidate.
West 43, declared he will be running as a third-party candidate for the BDY Party, which he says stands for the Birthday Party.
The FEC form signals West is serious about running for president in November after announcing on July 4 that he would be seeing the White House four years earlier than he previously said.
‘We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION’ West tweeted on Independence Day.
The move with the FEC comes after reports emerged Tuesday that West decided to end his campaign less than two weeks after announcing he was seeking a run.
A few hundred people are working on the ground for West already, but an election strategist told the Intelligencer on Thursday, just hours before the FEC filing dropped, ‘He’s out.’
Steve Kramer was hired by West to focus on getting the rapper’s name on the ballot in Florida and South Carolina.
‘I’ll let you know what I know once I get all our stuff cancelled,’ Kramer told the Intelligencer, which is part of New York Magazine.
‘We had over 180 people out there today,’ Kramer said of the efforts in Florida, and later added: ‘I have nothing good or bad to say about Kanye.’
‘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,’ he continued.
Hired campaign staff were reportedly told that West’s bid for president is off – but the FEC filing tells a different story.
Although West finished the first form to run for president, he has yet to fill out Form 2: Statement of Candidacy.
The second and more important form would show that he has raised or spent more than $5,000 in campaign activity and would trigger immediate candidacy status under federal campaign finance law.
The FEC filing shows funds for West’s campaign will go through First Bank of Wyoming.
The move comes as West has, on several occasions, talked about his desire to move him and his family to the deep red state and is in the process of building a massive mansion there now.
Immediately following his announcement, West’s wife, pop culture icon Kim Kardashian West, reposted his message along with an American Flag emoji – signaling her support.
West’s longtime friend and eccentric billionaire and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk also showed his support on Twitter for the candidacy.
His presidential bid, however, could be doomed before it gets off the ground as the deadline to get on certain states’ presidential ballots are approaching or already passed.
The deadline to register to get on the November ballot has already passed in six states – North Carolina, Texas, New York, Maine, New Mexico and Indiana – and the deadline for at least seven others are coming up this month.
Of the 538 Electoral College votes total, West would already be missing out on 102 if he were to successfully make his way onto the ballot in other states.
He would need to move quickly to avoid losing out on 85 more Electoral College votes as the deadline to get on the ballot in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia are coming up in July.
In December 2016, after Donald Trump won the presidential election, West said he was holding off until 2024 to run for president after previously saying he wanted to run in 2020.
He also, on several occasions, showed his support for Trump, donning a red Make America Great Again hat and meeting with the president in the Oval Office.
More recently, the rap star has said that he no longer supports Trump.