Progressive activist Cornel West is abandoning his bid to run for president with the Green Party, opting instead to run as an independent.
The party-switching move complicates his path to the ballot. The Green Party has already gained ballot access for 2024 in 17 states, according to the party's website.
Without them, West will have to gain access to the ballot in states on his own, an expensive and time-consuming task that involves gathering hundreds of thousands of petition signatures across the different states.
In a statement announcing his decision, West said, "Our Constitution provides for independent candidates to gain ballot access in all states, and I have begun seeking ballot access as an independent, unaffiliated with any political party."
He added, "I nod in solidarity to the Green Party for their shared values and commitment to justice. But my quest for the presidency belongs to the people. I believe the best way to challenge the entrenched system is by focusing 100% on the people, not on the intricacies of internal party dynamics."
President Joe Biden's supporters have voiced concern in recent months about third-party candidates cutting into his coalition in the 2024 general election. West, in particular, could slice out potential votes for Biden from the progressive left.
This is West's second party switch of the 2024 campaign. When he first announced his presidential bid in June, West ran as a member of the People's Party.
Just nine days after his initial announcement, West decided to run for the Green Party nomination.
As of June 30, just weeks into the campaign, West had raised just over $70,000. The next deadline for him to file updated fundraising numbers is October 30.