Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Running Mate Donates $2 Million to Campaign

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced Nicole Shanahan as his running mate, who donated $2M to his independent presidential campaign. Kennedy's bid has spooked allies of Biden and Trump, as he faces challenges to get on the ballot nationwide.

author-image
Bijay Laxmi
Updated On
New Update
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Running Mate Donates $2 Million to Campaign

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Running Mate Donates $2 Million to Campaign

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced Nicole Shanahan as his running mate on March 26. The following day, Shanahan donated $2 million to the campaign, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. Candidates can put unlimited funds into their own campaigns under federal law.

Shanahan has previously financially backed Kennedy's bid, donating directly to his campaign's committee and giving $4 million to a super PAC supporting his White House run. Kennedy's campaign raised $5.4 million in March, including Shanahan's $2 million donation. The campaign spent around $4.5 million last month and had $1.6 million in debt. The campaign reported having $6 million cash on hand at the start of April.

Shanahan has not appeared alongside Kennedy at a campaign event yet, but they are slated to hold a virtual event on April 22. The Kennedy campaign has qualified to be on the ballot in the battleground state of Michigan, bringing his total to nine states so far.

Shanahan, a wealthy Silicon Valley tech attorney and entrepreneur, has largely retreated from public view since being named Kennedy's running mate. She has mostly been focused on "learning and studying" the policies Kennedy is involved in, rather than participating in campaign events or interviews.

Shanahan's self-funding has been crucial in keeping the campaign financially afloat, as it raised $5.3 million in March but also spent $4.4 million and reported $1.5 million in debt. Shanahan has now contributed over $6 million to Kennedy's campaign efforts since last summer. However, she has faced public pressure to withdraw from the ticket, with Rep. Ro Khanna, a previous recipient of her donations, urging her to leave the campaign.

Why this matters: Kennedy's independent bid has spooked allies of both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who fear his famous last name and dedicated support among disaffected voters could tip the election. The Democratic National Committee has pledged a full court press to challenge Kennedy, including legal challenges to his ballot access and ads linking him to Trump supporters.

Kennedy faces an expensive and time-consuming process to get on the ballot in all 50 states without the backing of a political party. He has acknowledged the hurdles he faces and urged Americans to "take a risk" and vote for him. Kennedy is a leading activist in the movement that rejects the scientific consensus on vaccines, and he has built a fervent base of support among voters disenchanted with American institutions. Michigan is the second state after Utah to affirm that his name will be presented to voters in the pivotal battleground.

Key Takeaways

  • RFK Jr. named Nicole Shanahan as running mate, who donated $2M to campaign.
  • RFK Jr.'s campaign raised $5.4M in March, with Shanahan's $2M donation.
  • Shanahan has contributed over $6M to RFK Jr.'s campaign since last summer.
  • RFK Jr.'s independent bid has spooked allies of Biden and Trump, who fear his impact.
  • RFK Jr. faces challenges to get on the ballot in all 50 states without party backing.