- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 10, 2020

Entertainer Kanye West, who the American Independent Party put as its vice presidential candidate on printed ballots in California, released a statement Friday evening claiming his name has been used without his permission.

Instead, Mr. West insisted he remains a candidate for president on his Birthday Party ticket.

“I am campaigning to be the next president of our great country — not vice president,” Mr. West’s statement read, calling the AIP’s move “deceitful.”

“The political party in California that listed my name as its VP candidate has done so without my knowledge,” the famous rap mogul said. “Californians, I ask for your vote for president and urge you to write in ‘Kanye West.’”

Southern California businessman Rocque “Rocky” de la Fuente is atop the AIP ticket as its presidential candidate and he acknowledged the move to pair him with Mr. West was made unilaterally by the party. He has never talked with Mr. West, Mr. de la Fuente told The Washington Times earlier this week.

California law allows a party to nominate a candidate without their knowledge, although the AIP did vote in a March primary for Mr. de la Fuente, a wealthy car salesman who was educated in Mexico.

Among his multiple long-shot bids for the White House, Mr. de la Fuente is also the candidate of the Reform Party or the Alliance Party and is on the ballot in several states with Darcy Richardson completing the ticket as vice presidential candidate.

Mr. West, who has been friends with President Donald Trump, announced his candidacy on Twitter July 4, only to find his campaign beset with stories about his battles with alleged bipolar episodes and his well publicized but sometimes stormy marriage with social media and reality TV star Kim Kardashian West.

The American Independent Party, a conservative group, has existed since 1967 and is perhaps best known for nominating Alabama Gov. George Wallace for the presidency in 1968.

• James Varney can be reached at jvarney@washingtontimes.com.

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