Kanye West's presidential hopes dealt fresh blow as Arizona lawsuit seeks to ban him from ballot

Kanye West's presidential hopes dealt fresh blow as Arizona lawsuit seeks to ban him from ballot

Kanye West’s bid for the White House has been dealt a fresh blow after a resident in one US state sought legal action to scupper his chances of running.

Rasean Clayton has asked a judge to bar the hip hop star from appearing on Arizona’s ballot, where he has launched a bid to run as an independent candidate.

Independent presidential candidates can appear on Arizona’s ballot provided they are not registered with a recognised political party and if they gather enough voter signatures to nominate them.

On Wednesday, West’s lawyer reported filing just under 58,000 signatures – well over the roughly 39,000 required to make the ballot.


West still in the running to be president

But Mr Clayton’s lawyers have argued that West should be disqualified from the ballot because he’s a registered Republican.

Even if West is found to have submitted enough signatures, the lawsuit said the rapper’s late candidacy would make no difference to his chances of winning the race.

“West will not be able to qualify for the ballot in enough states to muster enough electoral votes to prevail,” Clayton’s lawyers wrote in their submission.

They said his “minimal interest in playing a spoiler candidate on Arizona’s ballot is not enough to outweigh the factors favoring emergency relief”.

Since announcing his tilt at the presidency on July 4, the music producer and fashion designer has qualified to appear on the ballot in several states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee and Utah.

A Maricopa County judge is scheduled to hear arguments in the legal challenge on Thursday afternoon.

Lawyer Tim LaSota, who represents West in the Arizona challenge, described the lawsuit as a “last-ditch effort on the eve of the (signature filing deadline) to deprive voters of a choice.”

Mr LaSota brushed aside criticism that West’s candidacy is an underhand bid to spoil Democratic nominee Joe Biden‘s chances in Arizona.

“That’s just political hyperbole,” Mr LaSota said.

“I don’t want to get into the politics of it. But obviously I think there is a lot to be achieved by someone else running for president.”

Mr Clayton’s attorneys said the lawsuit must be resolved quickly because the deadline for Arizona’s ballots to be printed is on September 8 and 9.

In a statement, Mr Clayton described himself as a Navy veteran who cares about the November election.

“I filed this case because I don’t want people to get confused voting on ballots that have disqualified people listed with everyone else who followed the law,” he said.