Who is Nicole Shanahan, RFK Jr’s running mate? Details on VP pick and why she's in Maine

Nicole Shanahan, the running mate of long-shot presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., will appear at a rally in Maine on Thursday as the campaign continues its effort to qualify for state ballots nationwide.

The rally, titled “Who is Bobby Kennedy?” aims to “raise awareness” about the third-party candidate and show voters that they have a “third choice,” according to the campaign. It will take place in Kittery, ME, a town just over the New Hampshire border on the coast.

Who is Nicole Shanahan?

Shanahan is a lawyer and philanthropist, leading a foundation that directs money toward women’s reproductive science and criminal justice. She is a registered Democrat. Kennedy chose her to be his vice-presidential running mate in March.

Shanahan is largely nationally unknown and has no governing experience, but she has ties to Silicon Valley. As the ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, she is wealthy and had already donated over $4 million to Kennedy’s campaign before being chosen, including over half of his $7 million Super Bowl commercial.

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces his running mate, Nicole Shanahan, in Oakland, Calif., on Mar 26, 2024.
Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces his running mate, Nicole Shanahan, in Oakland, Calif., on Mar 26, 2024.

Why is Nicole Shanahan in Maine?

Shanahan will be in Kittery Wednesday for the first of three rallies for Kennedy in Maine. She is expected to speak to attendees and hold a Q&A.

Her appearance comes as Kennedy continues to try to appear on state ballots nationwide.

Kennedy is not yet on the ballot in Maine. According to Maine’s Secretary of State Office, the campaign has not yet turned in any signatures. But he still has time: the deadline to submit a non-party petition to get on the ballot in Maine is July 25. Kennedy will need to gather at least 4000 signatures from registered voters in Maine.

Ballot petition access petitions will be available for voters to sign at each event in Maine.

Where is RFK Jr. on the ballot?

According to the campaign, Kennedy and Shanahan are officially on the ballot in seven states, including Utah, Michigan, California, Delaware, Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Texas.

They said they have also collected enough signatures for ballot access in nine other states: New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Idaho, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey and, most recently, New York. On Tuesday, the campaign announced it had collected over 135,000 signatures for ballot access in New York.

Kennedy has not yet gotten on enough state ballots to garner the 270 electoral votes required to qualify for the presidential debates to be hosted by CNN and ABC. He must reach that number by June 20.

While third-party candidates are unlikely to win the election, Kennedy could take votes from President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Who is Nicole Shanahan? More on RFK Jr.'s VP pick; why she's in Maine