Republican activists and operatives in at least five states have supported Kanye West’s bid for the November presidential election, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The report is the latest suggesting Republicans are purposely aiding West’s bid in swing states in the hope that he will take votes away from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
West’s campaign has filed petitions to appear on the ballot in 10 states, some of which have been found inadequate by state officials.
In Wisconsin, a swing state, of 10 mandatory electors listed on West’s petition at least six have ties to the Republican Party, according to The Post’s report.
Among those trying to get rapper Kanye West on the presidential ballot are Fred Krumberger, whose wife, Marian Krumberger, is past chairwoman of Wisconsin’s Brown County Republican committee.
Another West elector in the state, JM McKoy, is listed as an officer on the website of the Young Wisconsin Republicans, The Post reported.
Jordan Wielandy, who is reportedly the brother-in-law of Joe Fadness, the campaign manager of Republican Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s unsuccessful 2018 re-election bid, is also standing as an elector to aid West.
None of the electors or a spokesperson for West’s campaign responded to requests for comment when contacted by The Post.
Last week it emerged that Lane Ruhland, a lawyer and longtime GOP operative who has ties to Mr Trump, also submitted West’s election paperwork and petition signatures to have his name appear on the ballot in Wisconsin, Vice reported.
Rachel George, a longtime Republican operative based in Colorado, is working in a similar capacity to aid the West campaign in Colorado, seeking other Republicans to serve as West electors.
“I have the most random favour to ask of you ever… would you help me get Kanye West on the ballot in Colorado? No, I am not joking, and I realise this is hilarious,” Ms George wrote in an email to another GOP operative, obtained by Vice.
In Arkansas, West’s petition was signed by Gregg Keller, a longtime Republican operative who is the former executive director of the American Conservative Union, The Post said.
Some have suggested that republican supporters are driving West in an attempt to divert votes from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
David Crowley, a Democrat who took office in May as the first Black executive of Milwaukee County, told The Post that he condemned the effort and that the bolstering will ultimately benefit Mr Trump.
“This is the Republican Party really trying to take advantage of someone’s mental state,” he told the newspaper, referring to West’s bipolar disorder. “It’s appalling. It’s insulting. Quite frankly, I can’t believe they’re really doing it.”
“We want them to know we will not be tricked,” he said. “If he is on the ballot, we will tell the community what this strategy is and not let them be confused by the Republican Party and Donald Trump.”
Last week, Mr Trump acknowledged the work seemingly being done by Republicans to facilitate West’s bid, denying any involvement.
“I like Kanye very much, but no, I have nothing to do with him getting on the ballot. We’ll have to see what happens. We’ll see if he gets on the ballot. But I’m not involved,” Mr Trump said.
Jason Miller, a senior campaign adviser, also said the Trump campaign was not involved in helping West get on the ballot.