RFK Jr. Shockingly Selects Silicon Valley Attorney Nicole Shanahan as VP Running Mate!

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. intends to announce Tuesday that Nicole Shanahan, a wealthy San Francisco Bay Area lawyer and businesswoman, will join his campaign as his vice presidential pick, according to two sources. familiar with Kennedy's campaign plans. .

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

Kennedy's campaign is scheduled to hold an announcement event later Tuesday in Oakland, California.

Nicole Shanahan.Archive Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Kennedy's election comes at a key turning point for his campaign. Independent presidential candidates have to navigate different rules to get on the ballot state by state, which mostly involves gathering thousands of petition signatures. But in more than half of states, independents must submit their nomination papers to a designated running mate, and some of those deadlines are fast approaching.

Kennedy considered several 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 television host Mike Rowe. Rowe described his interview with NBC News and said Kennedy reviewed key policy positions and defended his anti-vaccine advocacy.

But ultimately, sources said Kennedy targeted Shanahan, who was previously involved in producing a splashy Super Bowl ad supporting Kennedy in February.

Shanahan told The New York Times that he helped make the announcement and donated $4 million to super PAC American Values ​​2024 last month to air it. Federal campaign finance records show a $4 million contribution to the super PAC on January 31 from Planeta Management LLC, which has a similar name to his venture fundPlanet Ventures.

But joining the Kennedy ticket appears to open a path for Shanahan to inject his own wealth directly into the campaign rather than into an outside group, which would allow Kennedy to use the funds for key projects such as collecting petition signatures for access to ballots.

Rules of the Federal Electoral Commission suggest that vice presidential hopefuls are free to contribute their own money to their campaign without limitations, just like a presidential candidate, as long as their candidacy does not seek public financing.

A lawyer and tech entrepreneur turned philanthropist, Shanahan's life in California has become intertwined with that of some of tech's biggest players.

He founded ClearAccessIP, a company that, according to its website, uses artificial intelligence technology to help patent holders manage their intellectual property. The company was acquired by IPwe in 2020.

She married Google co-founder Sergey Brin in 2018 and divorced him in 2022. The Wall Street Journal reported that she had an affair with billionaire Elon Musk, but both Shanahan and Musk have denied the allegation. The Journal has stood by its reporting.

The WSJ narrative that an affair with Elon Musk led to the end of my marriage was about as accurate as claiming that the body heat of polar bears is responsible for the melting of the Arctic ice caps.” Shanahan wrote in a 2023 essay for People magazine. “He felt cruel and senseless.”

Shanahan's foundation, the Bia-Echo Foundation, says its mission is to “create a multiplier effect” on issues Shanahan cares about, including “longevity and reproductive equality, criminal justice reform, and a healthy, livable planet.”

Shanahan has an autistic daughter and has recently funded research into the causes of the disorder, telling the New York Times in February that she had been motivated to support Kennedy in part because of concerns about children's health and the environment, including vaccines.

This last point has been one of Kennedy's professional causes as head of the country's best-funded anti-vaccine organization, Children's Health Defense. He bid farewell to the organization to run for president, but packed his campaign with anti-vaccine activists.

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