Killer Mike asks fans to vote him into Georgia's legislature, then finds they can't

Killer Mike asks fans to vote him into Georgia's legislature, then finds they can't
Killer Mike performs at Los Angeles' Echoplex in 2012. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Forget the jewels; Killer Mike wanted a chance to run Georgia.

Or at least he did, until he realized that state election law wasn't on his side.


The Run the Jewels rapper, who has been one of the most vocal figures in hip-hop after a year marked by police killings of unarmed black men, started an Internet furor Tuesday when he asked fans to write in his name at the next day's special election to fill a vacant seat in the Georgia statehouse.

"I would like as many people as possible to go to the polls and write in Michael Render," he wrote on Instagram, using his real name. "If I win we win."

But later in the day, he walked back the call to the polls when he realized state election law blocked him from holding office even if he did get the necessary votes. State election law requires write-in candidates to register before elections.

"I can't run, BUT, For the folks that were willing to Write in #Michael Render Thank U so Much," he wrote Tuesday evening. "I am gonna run one day and WE WILL WIN."

He also encouraged locals to read up on the registered candidates and vote for one of them instead.

The seat -- representing the state's 55th district, which includes Mike's hometown of Atlanta -- was vacated by veteran legislator Tyrone Brooks in April. Brooks, who held the seat for 35 years, resigned after pleading guilty to tax fraud charges, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Mike has written two op-ed pieces for Billboard this year, joining the chorus of voices who have criticized police use of force after officers killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City.

This spring, he wrote a pained piece about his surreal experience attending the White House Correspondents' Assn. dinner while riots slammed Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray.

"I tweeted and Instagrammed so my fans could share this incredible night [at the dinner] -- and as I followed social media, I saw that Baltimore was burning," he wrote. "As I sat there and watched my timeline, I felt helpless, hopeless: 'Here I am at this lavish event -- the most powerful man in the world is black, and people like him are being killed by the citizens who are paid to protect them.'"

Mike, who rose to prominence with the 2012 solo effort "R.A.P. Music," gained a wider following after joining forces with former Weathermen member El-P to form Run the Jewels in 2013. The group is slated to be one of the headlining acts at the FYF Fest in Los Angeles in August.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for breaking news