RFK Jr. Names Nicole Shanahan as Running Mate

Robert F. Kennedu Jr. announced he's chosen Nicole Shanahan as his Vice Presidential running mate for his 2024 presidential bid. The announcement comes as his campaign aims to get on the ballot in all 50 states.

OAKLAND, Calif.—Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on March 26 named Silicon Valley lawyer Nicole Shanahan as his running mate.

A late-breaking candidate in Mr. Kennedy’s months-long search for a vice president, Ms. Shanahan, a political novice, was introduced at a March 26 event in Oakland, where she was raised.

Ms. Shanahan, 38, was formerly married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The lawyer, entrepreneur, and investor helped fund and create Mr. Kennedy’s $7 million Super Bowl campaign ad.

NTD Photo
Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks during a campaign event to announce his pick for a running mate at the Henry J. Kaiser Event Center in Oakland, Calif., on March 26, 2024. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Silicon Valley lawyer “shares my indignation about the participation of Big Tech as a partner in the censorship and their surveillance, and the information warfare that our government is currently waging against the American people,” Mr. Kennedy said.

“That’s why I’m bringing on someone with a deep inside knowledge of how big tech uses AI to manipulate the public. I wanted a partner with strong ideas about how to reverse those dire threats to democracy and our freedoms. I managed to find a technologist at the forefront of AI,” he added.

The candidate highlighted his running mate’s young age.

“I want Nicole to be a champion as a growing number of millennials and Gen Z Americans who have lost faith in their future and lost their pride in our country,” he said.

NTD Photo
Independent Vice Presidential candidate Nicole Shanahan speaks during a campaign event to announce Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pick for a running mate at the Henry J. Kaiser Event Center in Oakland, Calif, on March 26, 2024. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ms. Shanahan, in an introduction video played at the event, said she decided to make the “move as an independent now because I’ve been finding it harder to find the leadership in the White House that presents the issues closest to my heart.”

She said the two political convictions she holds today are “to serve peace, and to help those in poverty.”

While Democrats share those ideals, the party as an institution “has lost its way,” she added.

“There is only one anti war candidate. And you won’t find him in the Democratic Party or Republican Party—He is an independent Robert F. Kennedy.”

The announcement represents the latest chapter in Mr. Kennedy’s campaign journey that started in Boston in April 2023 with his intent to challenge President Joe Biden for the Democratic Party nomination.

Claiming that the Democratic National Committee was “rigging the primary” and not allowing any candidate to compete against President Biden, Mr. Kennedy announced in October 2023 that he would run as an independent.

Ballot access became one of Mr. Kennedy’s priorities. Multiple states require that a vice president be named for an independent candidate to collect and submit petitions for ballot access.

At town halls, rallies, and interviews over the last four months, Mr. Kennedy has told The Epoch Times that he was in the vetting process for a vice president.

Mr. Kennedy repeatedly has said he will be on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To do that as an independent, he must select a running mate before petitioning for ballot access in 26 states and the District of Columbia, according to Ballot Access News.

Tulsi Gabbard, who served four terms in Congress representing Hawaii and who became disenchanted and left the Democrat party, was the candidate most frequently mentioned as Mr. Kennedy’s potential running mate in the early stages of the vetting process.

Ms. Gabbard is the author of “For Love of Country: Why I Left the Democratic Party.” The book is published by a firm owned by Anthony Lyons, co-chairman of American Values 2024, a Kennedy-aligned Super PAC.

Mr. Kennedy met with Ms. Gabbard in January when he was campaigning in Hawaii.

Ms. Gabbard has remained involved in Libertarian politics, and she recently appeared at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum. Mr. Kennedy, reportedly considering running as a Libertarian, spoke at the California Libertarian Party’s annual convention in February.

In recent weeks, Ms. Gabbard has spoken favorably about former President Donald Trump. According to multiple reports, she could be on President Trump’s short list of vice presidential picks.

Since Mr. Kennedy announced on March 13 that he had selected a running mate and that the candidate would be introduced on March 26 in Oakland, the floodgates of media and social media speculation burst.

Reports surfaced that among the picks were New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, former pro wrestler and former third-party Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, and Discovery Channel TV show host Mike Rowe.

Among others Mr. Kennedy reportedly approached was Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Raised in Oakland as a child of Chinese immigrant parents, Ms. Shanahan graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she majored in Asian Studies and minored in economics and Mandarin. She earned a law degree from Santa Clara University in California.

During her address, Ms. Shanahan described a challenging childhood. Her mother immigrated from China and her father was “plagued by substance abuse” and “struggled to keep a job.”

Ms. Shanahan added that her family was helped by welfare and food stamps, and she could relate to families “just one misfortune away from disaster” even though she attained wealth later in life.

“The purpose of wealth is to help those in need. I want to bring that back to politics too. That is the purpose of privilege,” she said.

Mr. Kennedy views to end what he calls the chronic disease epidemic if he is elected president. Ms. Shanahan spoke in depth about why she aligns with him on that issue.

There is a “crisis of reproductive health” and “chronic disease” that are caused by “toxic substances in our environment,” electromagnetic pollution, and “our medications.”

“Chronic disease, addiction, poverty, depression—this is where Americans are hurting the most. It’s time for politicians to listen,” Ms. Shanahan said.

Donated to Buttigieg, Williamson, Biden

Ms. Shanahan has donated to the presidential campaigns of Democrats Pete Buttigieg and Marianne Williamson in previous years, according to Forbes.

In 2020, she gave the Biden Victory Fund $25,000.

When Mr. Kennedy was still running in the Democrat presidential primary, Ms. Shanahan contributed the maximum of $6,600 to the candidate’s campaign, the New York Times reported.

She gave $4 million to American Values 2024 and helped create the Super Bowl television ad last month.

A longtime donor to Democrat presidential campaigns, Ms. Shanahan founded Clear Access IP (now IPwe), a tech law firm that uses AI to analyze and manage client patent portfolios.

In 2020, she left the company and founded the Bia-Echo Foundation, which according to its website, invests in “reproductive longevity and equality, criminal justice reform, and a healthy and livable planet.”

Ms. Shanahan told USA Today that she is “definitely interested” in further supporting RFK Jr. for president.

“In my opinion, he is the best presidential candidate we have on the issues close to my heart: environmental health, regenerative agriculture, and social justice,” she said.

Mr. Kennedy so far has qualified for the ballot as an independent in New Hampshire, Utah, and Nevada, and in Hawaii under the We the People party.

In January, Mr. Kennedy’s campaign said it had filed paperwork in six states to create a political party. The move was made to get his name on the ballots with fewer voter signatures than those states require for unaffiliated candidates.

The We the People party was established in five states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Mississippi, and North Carolina. The Texas Independent Party was also formed.

American Values 2024, a super PAC working to get Mr. Kennedy elected, said it has collected enough valid signatures for the candidate to get on the ballot in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and South Carolina.

Mr. Kennedy closed February with access to more than $23.7 million cash, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Since announcing that he would run as an independent instead of a Democrat, Mr. Kennedy has lamented the challenges that an independent candidate faces compared to Democrats and Republicans, who have no ballot access constraints.

“Nearly all of our budget is devoted to achieving ballot access in the 50 states and [the District of Columbia] so we can end these political stunts aimed at preserving power between two and only two political parties,” the campaign said in the statement.

He has expressed confidence that he will appear on the ballot in every state and the nation’s capital. He told The Epoch Times that his campaign is supported by a “grassroots army” and that he is aiming to get 60 percent more signatures than needed in every state to “provide a cushion.”

On Super Tuesday, March 5, while President Biden and President Donald Trump celebrated multiple victories, Mr. Kennedy’s campaign said it had collected enough signatures to appear on the Nevada general election ballot.

Nevada Petition Dispute

Nevada is considered a key swing state in the presidential election. In 2020, President Biden won the state by less than 35,000 votes over President Trump. Mr. Kennedy’s campaign said it had gathered 15,000 signatures to get on the Nevada ballot.

Now, Mr. Kennedy’s campaign is threatening legal action after the Nevada Secretary of State’s office admitted it had made a mistake in informing his ballot access team that independent candidates must “designate a nominee for vice president” when collecting signatures to get on the ballot in the state.

“After successfully collecting all of the signatures we need in Nevada, the DNC Goon Squad and their lackeys in the Nevada Secretary of State’s office are outright inventing a new requirement for the petition with zero legal basis,” Paul Rossi, Mr. Kennedy’s ballot access attorney, said in a statement.

“The Nevada statute does not require the VP on the petition. The petition does not even have a field for a VP on it,” Mr. Rossi added.

Mr. Rossi produced an email from one of Mr. Kennedy’s ballot access managers that asked if a vice presidential candidate must be listed on the petition forms. A staffer with the Nevada Secretary of State said, “No.”

On Jan. 9, the secretary of state’s office approved Mr. Kennedy’s petition, according to documentation that Mr. Rossi has presented.

The secretary of state’s office apologized for misinforming Mr. Kennedy’s campaign but said that it must abide by the petition gathering law. Mr. Kennedy’s campaign could have to start over collecting signatures in Nevada with Ms. Shanahan listed on the ticket.

Democrat Cisco Aguilar is Nevada’s secretary of state.

“This assault on the democratic rights of millions of Americans in Nevada, and their freedom to vote for an independent candidate, embodies the corruption and depravity that has come to characterize the Democratic Party,” Mr. Rossi said.

“This is the party that rigged the primary election against Bernie Sanders in 2016 and RFK Jr. in 2024. This is the party that canceled its own primary elections in multiple states this year and decreed Biden the winner without a vote.“

Mr. Kennedy has won ballot access-related lawsuits in Utah, Idaho, and Georgia.

Mr. Kennedy has estimated it will take at least $15 million to fund the work needed to get on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Citing a source close to Mr. Kennedy’s campaign, USA Today reported that Ms. Shanahan and Mr. Kennedy “align on numerous issues” and that “the campaign is also looking for a candidate who can help finance the ballot access initiative.”

From The Epoch Times

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