Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been making waves in the American political landscape with his recent announcement at a voter rally.
Mere minutes after telling a crowd of 800 that he “intends to win” the 2024 presidential election, Kennedy revealed to reporters his plans to name a vice presidential candidate soon.
This comes after his shift from the Democrat primary to an independent candidacy on October 9.
Kennedy’s nationwide tour for ballot access and Vice Presidential selection
Kennedy is touring the country, hosting voter rallies, and gathering signatures to secure his place on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
As an independent and third-party presidential candidate, he must declare his vice presidential pick in more than half the states to qualify for the ballot.
“I’m looking for somebody who is aligned with me on some important issues, including unraveling the warfare state,” Kennedy stated.
He seeks a running mate who shares his vision for ending division in the country and respects differing opinions on various issues.
Kennedy’s campaign strategies for ballot access and petitioning
Kennedy’s campaign, led by press secretary Stefanie Spear, has organized a tiered system to navigate state ballot access guidelines.
This system categorizes states based on whether a vice presidential nominee is necessary and the start dates for petitioning. Spear highlighted the campaign’s robust ballot-access team and their confidence in Kennedy securing 270 electoral votes.
At these rallies, Kennedy not only discussed his campaign platform but also actively engaged with attendees, encouraging them to support his ballot petition.
He emphasizes a volunteer-driven approach to signature gathering, contrasting it with the usual practice of hiring companies.
Kennedy’s campaign faces electoral challenges
Kennedy’s campaign faces the daunting task of collecting thousands of signatures across various states, each with its own guidelines and deadlines.
Some states, like North Carolina and Texas, have early filing deadlines in mid-May. The number of signatures required also varies significantly from state to state, with California demanding around 200,000 and Tennessee only 275.
Legal hurdles, Super PAC support in Kennedy’s ballot journey
Legal challenges from major political parties are a potential obstacle in Kennedy’s path to the ballot.
American Values 2024, a super PAC supporting Kennedy, plans to spend up to $15 million to secure his spot in critical states. This includes hand-collecting signatures as the law requires in states like Arizona, California, and Texas.
Kennedy challenges ballot access barriers, files lawsuit in Utah
Kennedy has been vocal about the difficulties faced by independent and third-party candidates in gaining ballot access, labeling these challenges as a form of voter suppression.
He faced an early hurdle in Utah, where he filed a lawsuit against an earlier filing deadline, deemed unconstitutional, that hindered independent candidates. Despite the state extending the deadline, the case continues.
Bigtree confident in signature collection as Kennedy’s tour progresses
Kennedy’s campaign communication director, Del Bigtree, expressed confidence in gathering more than the required number of signatures in various states.
Kennedy’s tour is set to continue in Phoenix, keeping up the momentum in his unconventional yet determined bid for the presidency.