In California, RFK Jr. is expected to select his vice presidential candidate.

At a gathering in Oakland, California, on Tuesday, independent candidate for president Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to announce his running mate. As Democratic concerns over his potential effect on the race intensify, his campaign is searching for new backers. Kennedy is in a pivotal moment in his presidential campaign, and this development may hasten his efforts to obtain ballot access in every state. Kennedy’s vice presidential nominee will also need to focus on boosting his standing and raising funds for his heavily financed campaign. Kennedy said earlier this month that he had “made up his mind” about his ticket partner in an interview with CNN. The following people were considered for the position: former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, former TV host Mike Rowe, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Republican Senator Rand Paul, and civil rights attorney Tricia Lindsay. Nicole Shanahan is an entrepreneur and attorney.

In an interview that aired on Sunday, Kennedy said that his choice of running mate “has ties” to the Oakland area. “We chose a candidate who lives in the area. I also have a particular place in my heart for Oakland. Kennedy claimed to Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU, “My father campaigned there and got tremendous support in 1968 during his presidential campaign.” Kennedy is the son of former US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of US President John F. Kennedy. Two candidates who have close ties to the Bay Area are reportedly on Kennedy’s short list: Shanahan, an Oakland native who was once married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Rodgers, a Chico, California native and UC Berkeley football player. Major-party presidential hopefuls’ vice presidential picks are typically revealed closer to their parties’ summer nomination processes, but Kennedy is announcing his choice ahead of time to enable his campaign to go forward with its ballot access initiatives. 23 states let his campaign to begin collecting signatures on ballot access petitions as soon as it selects a vice presidential contender, according to information supplied by the campaign.

Kennedy is presently only listed in Utah, but he wants to appear on the ballot in all 50 states as well as Washington, DC. His campaign claims to have collected enough signatures to be qualified for the ballot in New Hampshire, Nevada, and Hawaii, while the super PAC behind his White House run asserts to have enough signatures to qualify Kennedy in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and South Carolina. However, his Nevadan voting rights might be in jeopardy. On Monday, CNN was informed by a spokesperson of Nevada Secretary of State Cecilia Heston that there was “an error” in the campaign’s dissemination of the ballot access guidelines. Earlier this month, the campaign announced that it had gathered enough signatures to qualify. Petitions filed by candidates are required by law to “designate a nominee for Vice President.” Attorney Paul Rossi for the Kennedy campaign, who said that Nevada Democrats were attempting to keep Kennedy from getting ballot access in the state, was refuted by the secretary of state’s office.

In his statement, Heston made it clear that “neither the original error nor the subsequent statutory guidance was made with intent to harm or benefit any political party or candidate for office.” Another barrier to being on the ballot is Democratic attempts to stop Kennedy, portraying her as a spoiler candidate who could help former President Donald Trump unseat President Joe Biden. The Democratic National Committee has complained twice to the Federal Election Committee in the past two months, claiming that Kennedy-supporting super PAC American Values 2024 broke campaign finance laws and improperly worked with the Kennedy campaign to run its own ballot access initiative. The Democratic Party of Hawaii objected to the Kennedy campaign’s ballot access petition last week, causing it to be temporarily halted in Hawaii before a state elections office hearing on Thursday.

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