Trump campaign lawyer and Husch Blackwell senior counsel Lane Ruland is reportedly helping rapper Kanye West get on the ballot in Wisconsin as part of a long shot White House bid.
Ruland was spotted by a local reporter Tuesday outside of the state election commission building in Madison, dropping off ballot signatures for West. The elections lawyer, who is part of a team representing president Donald Trump’s campaign in a defamation lawsuit against a Wisconsin television station, was later identified by Vice.
West, once an outspoken Trump supporter, announced his presidential candidacy in July. Ruhland is a fixture on the GOP scene in Wisconsin who joined the Husch Blackwell late last year.
Ruhland and a spokesperson for the firm did not respond to requests for comment.
Ruhland, Husch Blackwell partner Eric McLeod, and senior counsel Lisa Lawless are representing Trump’s campaign in a defamation lawsuit against Northland Television.
The push to get West on ballots across the country has fueled speculation that his candidacy could help Trump fend of a challenge from former vice president Joe Biden (D).
Husch Blackwell’s GOP Ties
Ruhland has spent her career in senior political roles in GOP circles, according to her LinkedIn profile.
A former legal intern and policy analyst for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R), she worked as policy officer in the office of Wisconsin State Senator Jerry Petrowski (R) and, in 2014, became legal counsel for the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
She also worked in Wisconsin’s Department of Justice as director of government affairs and deputy chief of staff for nearly two years. After serving as director of environmental and energy policy for the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Ruhland joined Husch Blackwell in late 2019.
Husch Blackwell was formed through a merger of Husch & Eppenberger and Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin in 2008.
In 2016 it moved into Wisconsin through a merger with business and litigation firm Whyte Hirshboeck Dudek, which also has ties to the Wisconsin GOP. Donald Stitt, former State Senator and chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, joined Whyte Hirshboeck following his time in the legislature.
Husch Blackwell’s McLeod spent roughly 19 years at Milwaukee-based Michael Best & Friedrich, the former home of Republican National Committee chairman and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. McLeod joined Whyte Hirshboeck in 2014.
McLeod and Lawless also represented the Wisconsin Legislature in its case against the Democratic National Committee that ultimately made its was to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices granted a stay of a district court’s order extending Wisconsin’s absentee voting deadline in its April 2020 primary election.
Husch Blackwell chair-elect Catherine Hanaway is a former federal prosecutor who was the first female speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives. She ran for Missouri governor in 2016 but lost in the Republican primary to Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 following campaign-related felony charges.
Husch Blackwell partner Mark Grider was tapped to serve as senior associate counsel and special assistant to the President at the office of the White House counsel earlier this year.
President Trump also nominated Husch Blackwell partner Matthew Schlep as a district judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He was confirmed by the Senate in early 2020.