West focuses on religion in first election campaign video

LOS ANGELES – US rapper Kanye West on Monday released his first official campaign video in his long-shot bid to be elected US president on Nov 3, focusing on religion and families.

The 43-year-old, who launched his campaign for the White House with erratic statements on his social media accounts in July, is on the official ballot in a handful of US states, according to US media, but has no mathematical chance of winning.

In Monday’s video, the musician and fashion designer asked supporters to vote for him as a write-in candidate.

“By turning to faith, we will be the kind of nation, the kind of people, that God intends us to be,” West says in the video, featuring families at prayer and nature shots.

The video was the first major bid by West, formerly one of President Donald Trump’s biggest celebrity supporters, to be taken as a serious contender for the White House. 

He has done little campaigning under his self-styled Birthday Party as concern grew over his mental health and bipolar disorder.

Some political analysts believe that West’s run for office could siphon some Black supporters away from Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election.

West has spent some US$5.8 million (S$7.9 million) on his campaign this year, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. Most of the funding comes from a US$6.7 million loan from himself.

His website carries ads for hoodies, hats and T-shirts ranging from US$40 to US$160.

It also sets out a 10-point policy platform that includes reform of policing and the justice systems, reducing student debt and restructuring the education system to better serve vulnerable people. - REUTERS