Kanye West withdraws petition to get on NJ's 2020 ballot

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FILE - Kanye West answers questions during a service at Lakewood Church Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Houston. West says he is no longer a Trump supporter. The rapper, who once praised President Donald Trump, tells Forbes in a story published Wednesday that he is taking the red hat off a reference to Trumps trademark red Make America Great Again cap. West also insisted that his weekend announcement that hes running for President was not a stunt to drum up interest in an upcoming album. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File)

TRENTON, N.J. – Kanye West withdrew his petition to appear as a presidential candidate on New Jersey's ballot, according to an email chain between a judge and what appears to be the rapper's campaign email address.

In email correspondence obtained by The Associated Press, an unidentified person writing from a Kanye 2020 address tells Administrative Law Judge Gail Cookson that West is dropping his effort to appear on New Jersey's ballot.

“At this time, Kanye 2020 has no further option than to regrettably withdraw from New Jersey and cease further efforts to place Mr. West’s name on the New Jersey ballot," the Kanye 2020 email said late Monday.

Cookson replied Tuesday, accepting the withdrawal.

“I will consider this email as a request for a withdrawal of your petition to be placed in nomination for the President of the United States in the State of New Jersey," Cookson wrote.

Election law attorney Scott Salmon objected to West's petition last month, arguing that it failed to pass legal muster because signatures were incomplete and in some cases appeared written in very similar handwriting.

Salmon, who is a registered Democrat but brought the complaint on his own behalf, reacted positively to the news that West had withdrawn.

“I am glad that the Kanye campaign has realized that their petition was so deficient that it wasn’t even worth defending," Salmon said in a phone interview. “It sort of highlights the fact that it shouldn't have been submitted in the first place."