RFK Jr. intends to name attorney Nicole Shanahan as his VP pick

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. intends to announce Tuesday that Nicole Shanahan, a wealthy attorney and entrepreneur in the San Francisco Bay Area, will be joining his campaign as his vice presidential selection, according to two sources familiar with the Kennedy campaign’s plans.

Shanahan, who like Kennedy has never run for elected office, has contributed to his campaign and said she gave to his super PAC.

The Kennedy campaign has an announcement event scheduled later Tuesday in Oakland, California.

Nicole Shanahan in Los Angeles in 2021.
Nicole Shanahan.Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP file

Kennedy’s pick comes at a key inflection point for his campaign. Independent presidential candidates have to navigate different rules for getting on the ballot state by state, mostly involving gathering thousands of petition signatures. But in more than half of states, independents are required to file their nominating papers with a named running mate, and some of those deadlines are approaching quickly.

Kennedy considered a number of potential running mates during his vice presidential search, including New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and TV host Mike Rowe. Rowe described his interview to NBC News, saying Kennedy ran through key policy positions and defended his anti-vaccine advocacy.

But ultimately, the sources said Kennedy homed in on Shanahan, who previously was involved in the production of an attention-grabbing Super Bowl ad supporting Kennedy in February.

Shanahan told The New York Times that she helped make the ad and gave $4 million to the super PAC American Values 2024 last month to air it, though federal campaign finance records do not show a contribution from Shanahan to the group through February.

But joining Kennedy’s ticket appears to open a pathway for Shanahan to inject her own wealth directly into the campaign instead of into an outside group, which would allow Kennedy to use the funds for key projects like gathering petition signatures for ballot access.

Federal Election Commission rules suggest that vice presidential are free to contribute their own money to their own campaign with no limitations — just like a presidential candidate, as long as the ticket is not seeking public funding.



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