Kanye West qualifies as presidential candidate in Utah

FILE - Kanye West, center, bows his head in prayer during his "Sunday Service" at The Gateway in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. West has qualified to appear on Utah's ballot this November as an unaffiliated presidential candidate, an elections official said Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Colter Peterson/The Deseret News via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rapper Kanye West has qualified to appear on Utah’s ballot this November as an unaffiliated presidential candidate, an elections official said Monday.

State Elections Director Justin Lee said his office has verified that West’s campaign gathered the necessary 1,000 signatures from registered voters required to appear on the ballot.

West, who once backed Republican President Donald Trump, announced last month that he had broken with Trump and would launch his own presidential bid. His campaign filed paperwork on July 15 with the Federal Election Commission.

West has so far qualified in several states including Arkansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. His effort to get on the ballot has been challenged in Wisconsin.

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Sophia Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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