Nicole Shanahan Emerges as a Top Candidate to Be R.F.K. Jr.’s Running Mate

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The campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. indicated over the weekend that Nicole Shanahan — a Bay Area lawyer and investor who was once married to the Google co-founder Sergey Brin — was among the top picks to be Mr. Kennedy’s running mate on his independent presidential ticket.

The emergence of Ms. Shanahan as a possible running mate comes amid a flurry of interest in his vice-presidential shortlist, which The New York Times reported last week included the N.F.L. star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Gov. Jesse Ventura of Minnesota. Since then, other potential candidates have emerged, including Tricia Lindsay, a lawyer who has fought vaccine mandates. Mr. Kennedy said last week that he had spoken with Ms. Lindsay, but he did not mention Ms. Shanahan.

Ms. Shanahan, 38, was a creative force and primary financial backer behind a $5 million Super Bowl ad bought and created by a super PAC backing Mr. Kennedy, The Times reported last month. The ad, which repurposed a 1960 presidential campaign ad for Mr. Kennedy’s uncle John F. Kennedy, was praised in some quarters but also drew criticism from Mr. Kennedy’s family members, many of whom have publicly disavowed his campaign.

The media website Mediaite reported on Saturday that Mr. Kennedy planned to name Ms. Shanahan as his vice-presidential pick. A person familiar with the campaign said that her name had begun circulating recently amid concerns among people close to the campaign about Mr. Rodgers, but that it was not clear if anything had been decided.

Neither Ms. Shanahan nor Mr. Kennedy responded to requests for comment.

Stefanie Spear, a spokeswoman for the Kennedy campaign, said, “There has been a lot of speculation in the media,” and added that the official announcement would be on March 26 in Oakland, Calif.

On Saturday afternoon, Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy’s daughter-in-law who is also his campaign manager, said in a lengthy post on the social media platform X that the news media “were sure about Aaron, now they’re sure about Nicole. Tomorrow they’ll be sure about someone else.”

While she confirmed that Ms. Shanahan was one of the people in consideration, as was Mr. Rodgers, she did not say in her post whom Mr. Kennedy had chosen. She added that she “could not be more thrilled with Bobby’s decision.”

The domain name was registered on March 13, records show. On Saturday, a payment processing page was live and appeared to be connected to Mr. Kennedy’s campaign website, but on Sunday the page was down.

In an interview with The Times last month about the Super Bowl ad she helped fund, Ms. Shanahan said that she had been an early backer of Mr. Kennedy’s bid, when he was running as a Democrat, but that she had soured on him when he left the party. In recent months, she said, she had moved back into the Kennedy fold, and had discovered “pockets of silent support all over the place.”


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