Cornel West Announces Black Lives Matter Leader As VP Pick For 2024

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Independent presidential candidate Cornel West announced on Wednesday that Black Lives Matter (BLM) leader Melina Abdullah will be his running mate for the 2024 election.

West, like independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., needed a vice presidential pick to secure ballot access in various states, and has only gotten on the ticket in South Carolina, Utah, Alaska and Oregon. The candidate discussed his decision to tap Abdullah, who is the co-founder of BLM Los Angeles and the director of BLM Grassroots, as his running mate during an interview on The Tavis Smiley Show.

“I wanted somebody who’s heart, mind and soul is committed to the empowerment of poor and working peoples of all colors,” said West. “Melina has a history of longevity of putting her heart, mind and soul in the struggle.” (RELATED: RFK Jr. Reveals Running Mate Pick)

Abdullah told Smiley that she wasn’t anticipating West to ask her to be his running mate when she received the phone call last week. The BLM leader added that she “said yes immediately.”

“I’ve been keeping up with his campaign, been really, really inspired. I mean, a platform of truth, love and justice? What kind of platform is that! How can you not get behind that platform?” said Abdullah. “And then, of course, I regard him and many of us regard him as one of the most brilliant people to ever walk this earth. And so, I’ve been following him and had been really enthusiastic about his candidacy. And just was excited to be able to share space with him, to be inspired by him, to sit in his wisdom.”

The candidate launched the “Justice for All Party” in late January to help the candidate get on the ticket in certain states “where it’s easier to gain access as a party, as opposed to independent.”

West first launched his campaign for president as a People’s Party candidate before seeking the Green Party’s nomination in mid-June. The candidate later switched to run as an independent in early October just days before Kennedy departed from the Democratic Party.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who many credit for taking away votes Hillary Clinton needed to win in key states in 2016, is running for a third time in 2024. The Libertarian Party will nominate a ticket in May, and centrist group No Labels decided on Thursday not to run a third-party candidate this cycle.

Some polling indicates that when third-party candidates are on the ballot, former President Donald Trump’s slim lead over President Joe Biden grows, according to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) averages. The same goes for crucial battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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