Economy

RFK Jr running mate announcement may boost his presidential ballot access bid

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be under the bright lights of the national campaign spotlight on Tuesday, as the Democrat turned independent presidential candidate is scheduled to announce his running mate.

The highly touted move will grab tons of media attention for Kennedy, the longtime environmental activist and high-profile vaccine skeptic who is the scion of the nation’s most storied political dynasty.

However, it will also likely boost Kennedy in his goal to get on the presidential ballot in all 50 states, as he needs a running mate to qualify in numerous states.

With a little over seven months to go until the presidential election, Utah is the only state where Kennedy’s name is confirmed. His campaign says he has secured enough signatures to land on the ballot in New Hampshire and Hawaii.

The campaign tells Fox News they plan announcements each week going forward regarding their ballot access efforts.

While Kennedy is confident he will reach his ballot access goal, attaining it is a costly and time-consuming venture for any candidate not tied to a major political party.

However, another move could quickly land Kennedy on the ballot from coast to coast. 

Kennedy, who is polling in the low double-digits in potential 2024 showdowns with President Biden, former President Trump and other third-party or independent contenders, has held occasional talks since last summer with leaders of the Libertarian Party, to possibly run on their ticket in November.

‘The Kennedy campaign is keeping all its options open,’ campaign spokesperson Stefanie Spear reiterated to Fox News in a statement.

That is the same line that Kennedy told reporters when he raised eyebrows by speaking at the Libertarian Party of California’s annual convention in late February. His appearance helped the state party draw a record-breaking crowd.

The Libertarian Party, which in the last couple of presidential elections has secured ballot access in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, will choose its presidential ticket when its unbound delegates gather for their annual convention this year in late May in Washington, D.C.

Libertarian Party Chair Angela McArdle has held a handful of conversations with Kennedy about obtaining the party’s nomination. Their most recent discussion came at the California convention in late February.

McArdle emphasized to Fox News that for candidates seeking the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, ‘it’s important to show up to state conventions’ to seek delegate support. 

While Kennedy has not appeared in person at any other Libertarian gatherings, his campaign did have a table earlier this month at the New York convention.

Kennedy appeals to many Libertarians, in part due to his repeated criticism of vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Kennedy’s policy differences with the Libertarians, including his strong support for Israel in its war in Gaza with Hamas, could be major sticking points for delegates attending the national convention later this spring. 

There are plenty of Libertarians opposed to allowing on their ballot a candidate who is not 100% in-line with their anti-war and non-interventionist positions.

While Kennedy is grabbing plenty of media attention, there are more than a dozen announced candidates already vying for the Libertarian Party nomination.

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