Robert F Kennedy Jr taps Nicole Shanahan as VP

Shanahan is a silicon Valley lawyer turned philanthropist, who has been a longtime donor to the democratic party

Independents Robert F Kennedy Jr and Nicole Shanahan / image- Instagram

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced at a rally in Oakland, California on March 26 that California-based lawyer and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan will be his running mate.

“I wanted a vice president who shared my passion for wholesome healthy foods, chemical-free, regenerative agriculture for good soils. I found exactly the right person,” Kennedy Jr said. “Among other things she has used cutting-edge technology over the past several years, including AI to calculate the catastrophic health consequences of toxins in our soil or air or water in our food technology.”

Taking a dig at Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Kennedy Jr. said, “We are now witnessing this dismaying contest between the two oldest presidential candidates in history.” He shared that he was specifically looking for a younger person as vice president and that he believes 38-year-old Shanahan can speak to “the growing number of millennials and Gen Z Americans who have lost faith in their future.” 

Kennedy is only confirmed to be on the ballot in Utah, therefore, naming a vice president candidate will help his campaign clear the way for ballot access in many US states and Washington DC.

Who is Nicole Shanahan?

Shanahan is an Oakland native who was previously married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. She is the founder and president of Bia-Echo Foundation, which aims to accelerate social change by investing in changemakers at the forefront of innovation who are tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges.In 2013, she founded ClearAccessIP (now known as IPwe), a tech law firm that uses AI to analyze and manage patent portfolios for clients.

Despite her lack of political experience, the 38-year-old has long been a Democratic donor. She donated $4 million to a Super PAC to fund the controversial retro-styled Kennedy campaign ad, which reused parts of a 1960 John F. Kennedy ad and aired during the Super Bowl.

According to reports, Shanahan’s pick for Vice President will significantly propel the Kennedy campaign as she is expected to  inject her own wealth directly into the campaign’s key projects like gathering petition signatures for ballot access. 

Vice President candidates are free to contribute their own money to their campaign with no limitations — just like a presidential candidate, as long as the ticket is not seeking public funding.