The Elections Commission will take the coming days to determine whether entertainer Kayne West and four others met the qualifications to be on the presidential ballot in Wisconsin.
And West may have some Republicans to thank if he makes the ballot.
West was one of five candidates the Elections Commission says filed nomination papers and declarations of candidacy yesterday for the presidential ballot. West’s last-minute filing added a twist to the presidential race in Wisconsin, particularly with some believing he could peel votes away from presumptive Dem nominee Joe Biden.
The woman who dropped off West’s nomination papers was identified as Lane Ruhland, an attorney who represented the Republican National Committee during the 2016 presidential recount in Wisconsin, worked for former GOP AG Brad Schimel and was legal counsel for the state GOP in 2014.
Ruhland is also listed as one of the attorneys for Donald Trump’s campaign in a federal lawsuit against a Rhinelander TV station over an ad it aired by a Dem group.
She didn’t return a message left late yesterday at her office or an email from WisPolitics.com.
“It looks like Kanye hired an experienced election attorney in Wisconsin,” said state GOP spokeswoman Alesha Guenther. “We welcome him to the race along with any other candidates that qualified for the ballot and look forward to delivering Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes to President Trump.”
The state Dem Party declined comment.
Under state law, independent candidates for the presidency faced a 5 p.m. deadline yesterday to file at least 2,000 valid signatures from Wisconsin electors and a declaration of candidacy. West filed the declaration late yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, video posted by WISN-TV reporter Matt Smith showed Ruhland entering the building housing the Elections Commission just after 5 p.m. to drop off the nomination papers.
West’s campaign hired the firm Let the Voters Decide to gather signatures for him. According to national media, company executive Mark Jacoby was arrested on voter fraud charges in 2008 while working for the California state GOP and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
The commission said West’s nomination papers would be posted sometime today.
All five candidates who filed yesterday are being reviewed and haven’t yet been formally approved by the ballot. The commission didn’t say when it planned to complete the review.
West filed to run under The Birthday Party banner with Michelle Tidball as his running mate.
The other four candidates to file are:
*Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy Spike Cohen, Libertarian Party.
*Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, Green Party.
*Brian Carroll and Amar Patel, American Solidarity Party.
*Kyle Kenley Kopitke and Taja Yvonne Iwanow, The People’s Revolution
See the Elections Commission release:
See West’s declaration of candidacy:
Updated August 5, 8:42 a.m.