RFK Jr. qualifies for first 2024 ballot
Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has officially qualified to appear on the 2024 presidential ballot in Utah.
Why it matters: Kennedy has faced an upward climb to get his name to appear on any state's 2024 ballot.
- Last month, the super PAC backing him announced an up to $15 million effort to achieve ballot access for Kennedy in states across the country.
- Spoiler candidates have taken on an outsized role in the 2024 election, which features two historically unpopular frontrunners: former President Biden and former President Trump.
Driving the news: Kennedy has submitted the required 1,000 verified signatures needed to qualify for Utah ballot access, his campaign confirmed in a press release Wednesday.
- "Our ground team and volunteers in Utah pulled off an incredible achievement by collecting thousands of signatures in just one week," Kennedy said in the release.
- During a news conference Wednesday, Kennedy reiterated plans to get on the ballot on all other 49 states and the District of Columbia.
- Next, he will need to officially file for candidacy in the state before the March 5 deadline, per AP.
The big picture: Descended from one of America's most famous political families, Kennedy initially launching his 2024 campaign as a Democrat and quickly gained support from some conservatives.
- In October, he dropped his Democratic party bid to run as an independent.
- Kennedy gained prominence as a prominent critic of vaccines and has criticized U.S. funding for Ukraine.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was temporarily banned from various social media platforms after being accused of spreading misinformation about vaccines.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.