RFK Jr. taps Nicole Shanahan as his running mate

Nicole Shanahan speaks in Oakland, California after presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announced her as his running mate, March 26, 2024.
Nicole Shanahan speaks in Oakland, California after presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announced her as his running mate, March 26, 2024. | Screenshot: YouTube/Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

A major third-party candidate for President of the United States has announced his vice presidential pick as he seeks to gain ballot access in all 50 states ahead of the 2024 presidential election. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running a third-party presidential campaign in the 2024 presidential election, announced his vice presidential pick at a campaign event Tuesday. Kennedy spoke to a crowd of supporters in Oakland, California before introducing Nicole Shanahan as his running mate. 

“Nicole’s personal story began in Oakland,” he explained. “She was the daughter of impoverished immigrants. She grew up on food stamps and welfare in this city beset by many, many other unique challenges, all of which she overcame. Her very, very American journey took her to a career as a patent attorney and as a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and as a Stanford University fellow. Like many of us, Nicole assumed our government was working for our people.”

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Kennedy listed other assumptions made by Shanahan as “our defense and intelligence agencies wanted peace, that public health agencies wanted us to be healthy, that the USDA supported wholesome foods and family farms, that the EPA would stand up for clean air and clean water, that the Fed wanted a prosperous America, that the Democratic Party was on the side of the middle class, the working poor and Main Street small businesses, that scientists were incorruptible and that the science was … an exalted search for the truth.”

The candidate assured the audience that Shanahan has now concluded “that the defense agencies work for the military-industrial complex, that health agencies work for Big Pharma, that the USDA works for big ag and the processed food cartels, that the EPA is in cahoots with the polluters, that the scientists can be mercenaries, that government officials sometimes act as censors and that the Fed works for Wall Street and allows billionaire bankers to prey upon Main Street and the American worker.”

“That’s why Nicole and I both left the Democratic Party,” he noted to thunderous applause. 

Shanahan, 38, appeared in a video played at the event, discussing how “what young people are facing today is completely unprecedented and it’s going to take a new generation of leadership that understands deeply those threats because they are themselves technologists to address the issues at hand.”

“It’s going to take leadership that has spent their life in technology. It’s going to take leadership that understands what questions to ask, how to ask them and what it looks like to implement a plan. This is not the America of the 1950s. This is the America of 2024 and in this America, it’s going to take communities coming to the White House that never have actually been in the White House.”

Shanahan added, “These are going to be tech communities; these are going to be Gen Z communities, these are going to be millennial communities who really believe that working together is going to get us to a healthier America with solutions that actually work.”

She acknowledged that while she was “half-Chinese, half-Caucasian,” “to the people around me, I was Nicole.”

Shanahan appeared before the crowd to elaborate on her history of political activism, which began when she became an anti-war activist in high school. She identified her purpose in life as “to serve peace and to help those in poverty.”

“You can understand why I gravitated to the Democratic Party because that was supposed to be the party of peace, the party of compassion. Many Democrats, we still believe in those ideals but unfortunately, as an institution, it has lost its way.” 

Shanahan informed the audience that she was “leaving the Democratic Party” while expressing confidence that she was “taking the best ideals and impulses with me.” Maintaining that “the Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of compassion” as well as “diplomacy and science” in addition to “civil liberties and free speech” and “the party of the middle class and the American dream,” she reiterated that “they have lost their way in their leadership.”

Shanahan also invited “disillusioned Republicans” to join her “in this movement to unify and heal America.” She praised the Kennedy campaign’s “vision of national healing” and “an America that leads the world no longer through force of arms but through the power of example.”

“It is an America where everyone who works hard can afford a decent life, it is an America where people of all races receive fair and equal treatment under the law, it is an America whose freedoms are the envy of the world, it is an America with honest and transparent government institutions,” she added. Shanahan vowed to “work with Bobby Kennedy to make America once again a country of peace, a country of compassion, [and] a country that is prosperous and free.” 

Kennedy has emerged as an alternative for voters dissatisfied with the two major party candidates for president: President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and former President Donald Trump, a Republican.

The RealClearPolitics average of polls asking voters who they support in a three-way race, based on polls taken from Jan. 22-Mar. 21, shows Kennedy capturing 12.3% of the vote compared to Trump’s 40.7% and Biden’s 35.3%. 

While Kennedy remains significantly behind Trump and Biden, should he capture 12.3% of the vote as projected, he would become the first third-party candidate to break double digits in a presidential election since Ross Perot in 1992. The RealClearPolitics average of polls taken since Feb. 25 asking voters who they support in a five-way race between the two major party nominees as well as Kennedy, independent candidate Cornel West and Green Party candidate Jill Stein shows Kennedy capturing 9.9% of the vote. 

In such a scenario, Kennedy remains far behind Trump, who captures 41.7% and Biden, whose support is measured at 39.4%. However, he is significantly ahead of the other two third-party candidates. West receives 2% support while Stein captures 1.4%. 

Kennedy’s campaign will largely depend on his ballot access. Currently, Kennedy has only secured ballot access in four states: Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and New Hampshire. Those states boast a combined 20 electoral votes, far short of the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency. The campaign is working to get on the ballot in all 50 states. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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