RFK Jr. names California tech attorney Nicole Shanahan as his vice presidential pick

(Jordan Strauss / Jordan Strauss/invision/ap)

RFK Jr. names California tech attorney Nicole Shanahan as his vice presidential pick

Election 2024

James Rainey

March 26, 2024

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced his election on Tuesday


technology attorney, entrepreneur and political newcomer Nicole Shanahan as his vice presidential running mate.

With no experience holding or running for elected office, Shanahan embodies the kind of nontraditional choices Kennedy said he would bring to the White House if his long-awaited bid for the presidency succeeds.

In the unlikely event that the Kennedy-Shanahan ticket prevails, the 38-year-old vice president would become the second-youngest in history.


Kennedy said. Shanahan said


Kennedy made the announcement at the Henry J. Kaiser Center for the Arts in Oakland, Shanahan’s hometown and also the hometown of Vice President Kamala Harris. While designed to emphasize Shanahan’s roots, the location also seemed to signal that Kennedy plans to go to any state in search of votes, and not just the six to eight swing states believed to be will decide whether President Biden will win another term or be replaced by former President Trump.

Kennedy’s choice for a running mate came into focus two weeks ago, when it was reported that he had spoken to NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura about the job.

Less than a week later, Mediaite reported that Kennedy had instead decided to pick Shanahan, who had previously helped plan and pay for a television commercial for the candidate that aired during last month’s Super Bowl.

With that $4 million investment, Shanahan emerged as a major financier of Kennedy’s campaign. The advertisement attracted a lot of attention


by relying on images and a jingle heard at a presidential campaign site for Kennedy’s uncle in 1960,


John F Kennedy.

Some members of the Kennedy family expressed disdain for the ad, saying the eldest son of former Atty. General Robert F. Kennedy does not reflect family values, especially with his often expressed skepticism about the value of vaccines.

Shanahan described her ties to Oakland TK TK…More from Shanahan……..TK TK and KENNEDY.

Kennedy’s campaign indicated there would be more campaigning in California this weekend, with the candidate appearing in Los Angeles to celebrate the birthday of labor and civil rights icon Cesar Chavez.

Joining Kennedy will be former Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who lost that office in 2022 after four chaotic years in which he alienated the county’s other elected leaders and civilian supervisors appointed to ensure fair policing. The polarizing politician, who recently lost a primary bid against Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, said several months ago that he was supporting Kennedy. Villanueva told The Times via email that he supported the independent because “the vast majority of voters are tired of both Biden and Trump.” He added: “RFK Jr represents a promising future that puts the interests of the people above party interests, hence the emphasis on We The People.”

It was not immediately clear whether Shanahan would accompany Kennedy on the trip to Los Angeles, where he lives, or if she would campaign on her own.

Even before Kennedy made his choice official on Tuesday, it became clear that Shanahan would be called to answer for some of his extreme past statements. A group of political action committees representing Asians and Pacific Islanders sent an email to the media criticizing Kennedy’s

speculation last year

that the COVID-19 virus appeared to be “ethnically targeted,” sparing Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews. The head of the AAPI Victory Fund said Kennedy’s choice of Shanahan, whose mother’s daughter was born in China, should not be used to “paper” his “wildly racist conspiracy theory” about the impact of the coronavirus. Kennedy officials said he and Shanahan would not answer questions from the press after Tuesday’s announcement. SHOULD THIS NOT BE REWRITE BEFORE WE PUBLISH?

In previous interviews, Shanahan said he grew up with a mother who had recently emigrated from China and a father who struggled with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. She said neither of her parents had steady jobs and she started working at the age of 12


singing tables.

But Shanahan said she carved a path for herself, starting at the University of Puget Sound in Seattle and then as a paralegal in Seattle and in China as a student at the University of Santa Clara Law School.

Shanahan was not yet 30 when she founded a company, ClearAccessIP, which uses software to help companies manage and distribute patents and patent rights. Another Silicon Valley company, IPwe, acquired Shanahan’s company in 2020.

The Oakland native’s public profile expanded significantly with her 2018 marriage to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, one of the richest men in the world. The couple had a daughter, Echo, and Shanahan founded the Bia-Echo Foundation, which announced in 2019 that it would spend $100 million over five years on programs to help women.

who wanted

becoming pregnant later in life, to overhaul the criminal justice system and tackle the impacts of climate change.

The issue of having children became front and center for Shanahan when she struggled to have a child


. She later became focused on autism, when Echo was diagnosed as being on the spectrum.

The RFK Jr. Campaign offered tickets to Tuesday’s event for just $2. Those who donated $500 or more were invited to an exclusive reception following the announcement. The campaign said media would not be welcome at the reception.

If Shanahan is elected vice president, he would be the second-youngest person to hold the office. The youngest vice president. was John C. Breckinridge, a Kentuckian who served in the U.S. House and Senate before being elected at the age of 36 alongside President James Buchanan in 1856.

(Breckinridge ran for president in 1860 under the banner of the Southern Democratic Party and finished third behind the winner, Republican Abraham Lincoln, and Stephen A. Douglas, who represented the Northern Democrats.) Times staff writer Benjamin Oreskes has contributed to this report.


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