Kanye West yesterday donated $73,540 to Chicago mayoral hopeful Amara Enyia, a longshot candidate whose campaign to replace the controversial Rahm Emanuel was boosted last week by an endorsement from Chance The Rapper.
In a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times, Enyia's team confirmed that West's money had already been put towards settling a debt, incurred during a previous run for mayor in 2015, with the Illinois State Board of Election. With that money now paid in full, Enyia is now free to be included on the ballot.
The donation comes less than two weeks after West visited the White House to deliver a scattergun rant in praise of President Donald Trump.
West's donation, then, further confuses an already tangled web of a race in Chicago—at least within the rap world. Chance The Rapper's father, Ken Bennett, is already working as the campaign manager for rival candidate Toni Preckwinkle. And per the Sun-Times, Preckwinkle's team has already made a point of bringing up the donation. "If you accept money from a person like Kanye West, are you also endorsing his stance on Donald Trump?" Stanley Moore, a county commissioner campaigning for Preckwinkle, asked the paper yesterday.
Meanwhile Enyia, who is campaigning for a more transparent government, an equal education system, and a fairer economy in Chicago, will campaign alongside Chance, starting today with a rally to discuss gentrification in the Woodlawn neighborhood. “Typically, with celebrity endorsements, it’s sort of a flash-in-the-pan, one-shot deal," she told the Sun-Times. "We actually are going to be working together and co-campaigning... essentially until the end of the election cycle."
Emanuel isn't running for a third term. Chicago will hold elections for its new mayor on February 26, 2019.
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