Republican Operatives Swoop in to Help Cornel West This Election

Hafiz Rashid / The New Republic
Republican Operatives Swoop in to Help Cornel West This Election Dr. Cornel West. (photo: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

A new report reveals that operatives with Republican ties are trying to help Cornel West get on the ballot.

Independent presidential candidate Cornel West is trying to collect signatures to get as many state ballots as possible, and if he succeeds in North Carolina, it might be thanks to Republican operatives.

NBC News reports that the Justice for All Party, which is supporting West, authorized three people to collect signatures who either work for or used to work for Blitz Canvassing, a Republican political firm. The firm has supported numerous Republican House and Senate candidates, as well as former presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.

A West campaign spokesperson said the campaign wasn’t aware that the three were connected to a Republican firm and did “not have any specific comments since we are not familiar with them or their affiliations.”

The NBC report also noted that a high amount of West’s signatures in the state came from Republican-voting counties, even though West considers himself a socialist advocating pro-Palestine policies. In April, a Republican activist was captured on video gathering signatures for West outside a Trump rally in Wilmington, North Carolina.

“This helps take away votes from Joe Biden,” the activist told one person at the rally, according to a video posted to X (formerly Twitter) by a Washington Post reporter. “We’re helping the Trump team who’s trying to get him on there,” added a woman by his side.

NBC also obtained petition signatures submitted by the Justice for All Party showing that several registered Republicans signed petitions to get West on the ballot on the same day as the Trump rally and in the same county.

West is not alone among third-party candidates for receiving help from Republicans in order to serve as a spoiler in the 2024 presidential election. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has received most of his campaign contributions from conservatives, has been praised by Donald Trump, and has had conservatives opposed to Biden serving as his advisers. (Unfortunately, that assistance has led Republicans to start worrying that he could hurt Trump in the end.)

West’s campaign has been criticized as a vanity effort likely to have a spoiler effect on Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, if it has any effect at all. Describing the 2024 election, he’s said, “Neofascists like brother Trump or milquetoast neoliberals like brother Biden? Wow, I’m so happy to make a world-shaking decision.” In August, a Daily Beast investigation found that he owed $543,778.78 in unpaid taxes.

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