Updated Mar 13, 2024 - Politics & Policy

RFK Jr. to announce running mate on March 26

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. hosts a fireside chat with rapper and producer Eric B. at The Gentleman's Factory on February 18, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by John Nacion/Getty Images)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Feb. 18 in New York City. Photo: John Nacion/Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. plans to announce his vice presidential pick in Oakland, California on March 26 as part of his long-shot presidential bid, according to a campaign event.

Why it matters: Kennedy — whose campaign has floated names like Aaron Rodgers and Jesse Ventura on its VP shortlist — faces a tighter timeline for selecting a running mate to get on the ballot as an independent candidate.

  • Rodgers, an NFL quarterback, and Ventura, ex-Minnesota governor and pro wrestler, have built-in name recognition and could boost national interest for his bid.

Driving the news: The campaign spokesperson confirmed that Rodgers, who is slated to start for the New York Jets in the fall, and Ventura are on a shortlist for potential running mates, but did not share who else is on the list.

  • Kennedy has been speaking with Rodgers "pretty continuously" over the last month, according to the New York Times, which first reported on the independent presidential candidate's possible running mates.
  • Kennedy got in touch with Ventura last month, per the Times, but a spokesperson for the ex-governor declined to comment to Twin Cities PBS, saying, "No one has officially asked him to be RFK Jr's VP."
  • Kennedy told CNN that he's "made up his mind" on his running mate.

The big picture: Kennedy has already qualified for the ballot in Utah and he's collected the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot in at least six more, including three battlegrounds.

  • Over 25 states and Washington, D.C. require independent presidential candidates to name their running mate to apply for ballot access, according to Ballot Access News.
  • Rodgers, like Kennedy, has been an outspoken critic of vaccines during the pandemic.
  • President Biden and former President Trump are heading for what is likely to be a close rematch in November, when any support for Kennedy could swing the election.

Go deeper: RFK Jr. apologizes to family after Super Bowl ad

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details and developments.

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