Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Expected to Announce Major Dem Donor, Tech Lawyer Nicole Shanahan As Running Mate

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent presidential candidate, is expected to announce Nicole Shanahan as his running mate at an event in Oakland, California, on Tuesday. While Kennedy hinted that his vice president pick “has ties” to the Oakland area (Shanahan was born there), two sources close to his campaign confirmed Shanahan would be selected. 

Kennedy said, 

The candidate that we’ve chosen has ties to the area. I also have a great affection for Oakland. My father campaigned there and got tremendous support in 1968 during his presidential campaign.

Shanahan is a 38-year-old affluent lawyer from the Bay Area who founded a tech law firm, ClearAccessIP, known as IPwe, before turning to philanthropy. In 2020, Shanahan founded the Bia-Echo Foundation, an organization that invests in “reproductive longevity & equality, criminal justice reform, and a healthy & livable planet.”

Shanahan was previously married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin from 2018 to January 2022 and has been a major Democrat political donor. She made significant donations to presidential campaigns, giving $2,800 to Marianne Williamson and Pete Buttigieg and hosting a fundraiser for Buttigieg before making a $25,000 donation to the Biden Victory Fund. Shanahan had previously made the maximum donation of $6,600 to Kennedy in 2022, stating that she shares alignment with him on issues such as environmental health and vaccines.

Shanahan gained attention for donating $4 million to the American Values 2024 Super PAC supporting RFK Jr.’s campaign. Expenditures include a controversial ad that used parts of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential ad and aired during the Super Bowl and signature-gathering efforts for ballot access in several states. 

Shanahan is expected to play a role in assisting fundraising efforts to support his high-budget campaign. Speculation suggests that she might also use her personal finances to contribute to the campaign’s financial needs.


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Kennedy Campaign Fires Back at Nevada SOS, DNC After 15,000 Signatures Invalidated, Threatens Lawsuit

Selecting a running mate has become increasingly urgent for the Kennedy campaign, as 23 states require a vice president to be named for independent candidates to gain ballot access. Thus far, Kennedy only has secured ballot access in the state of Utah.

Recently, 15,000 signatures gathered to qualify Kennedy to appear on the ballot in Nevada are under scrutiny and expected to be invalid according to state law. Kennedy’s campaign responded by accusing employees at the Nevada Secretary of State’s office of collusion with the Democratic National Committee and threatening a lawsuit. The Nevada Secretary of State confirmed that inaccurate information was furnished to the Kennedy campaign in an email sent in November. 

The challenges to Kennedy’s ballot access are compounded by efforts from Democrats aiming to hinder him, painting him as a spoiler candidate capable of aiding former President Donald Trump in defeating President Joe Biden. The DNC has lodged two complaints with the Federal Election Committee (FEC) over the past two months, accusing the pro-Kennedy super PAC of violating campaign finance laws and unlawfully coordinating with the Kennedy campaign in ballot access initiatives.

Furthermore, the Democratic Party of Hawaii recently raised objections to the Kennedy campaign’s ballot access petition in the state. This objection resulted in a temporary blockage of the petition, pending a hearing at the state elections office scheduled for Thursday.

Kennedy will announce his running mate on Tuesday at an event taking place at the Henry J. Kaiser Center for the Arts in Oakland, California, at 11 a.m. Pacific, 2 p.m. Eastern.

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