Who Is Nicole Shanahan, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s New V.P. Running Mate

Last week, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced that San Francisco attorney and entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan would join the ticket as his vice presidential selection.

While speaking in Shanahan’s hometown of Oakland, he explained that he wanted to choose a young athlete with a diverse background.

“I am confident that there’s no American more qualified to play this role than Nicole Shanahan,” he said.

In her address, Shanahan said the Democratic party “has lost its way,” and she is officially leaving the party. She also discussed concerns over the U.S. food supply and expressed skepticism about medicine and vaccines, two top causes of Kennedy’s campaign.

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“This independent movement comes at a time of extreme division in America that threatens to tear this country apart,” Shanahan said. “It is time for a re-alignment. It is time, as Bobby Kennedy says, to focus on our unifying values rather than our divisions.”

Kennedy is currently polling better than other third-party candidates, suggesting his potential to play a role in critical swing states if he makes it on the ballot this fall.

Shanahan founded ClearAccessIP, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help patent holders manage their intellectual property. She married Google co-founder Sergey Brin in 2018 and divorced him in 2022.

She was reported to have an affair with Elon Musk, though both parties have denied this accusation.

Shanahan’s foundation, the Bia-Echo foundation, serves to “create a multiplying effect” on issues Shanahan cares about, including “reproductive longevity & equality, criminal justice reform and a healthy & liveable planet.”

She has contributed to Kennedy’s super PAC in the past, and joining the ticket may open up opportunities for her to give more money to the campaign.

Ava Lombardi

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