18 April 2024

Nicole Shanahan, Rich Lawyer, Is R.F.Okay. Jr.’s Vice-Presidential Decide

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Tuesday named Nicole Shanahan, a Silicon Valley lawyer, investor and political neophyte, as his operating mate in his unbiased presidential bid.

His advisers and backers hope the transfer will inject new power — in addition to monetary help — into his long-shot bid for the White Home, as his marketing campaign gears up for months of authorized battles to position his title on state ballots.

Ms. Shanahan, 38, who was previously married to the Google co-founder Sergey Brin, has given $4.5 million to tremendous PACs backing Mr. Kennedy over the previous 12 months, together with a $4 million donation serving to to pay for a Tremendous Bowl advert backing him. She additionally funds analysis on well being and the setting, points that Mr. Kennedy — an environmental lawyer and vaccine skeptic who has unfold conspiracy theories — has made cornerstones of his marketing campaign.

Ms. Shanahan emerged as his favored vice-presidential choose in current weeks, after the N.F.L. quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the previous Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura had been on the high of Mr. Kennedy’s shortlist.

She has a historical past of contributing to Democrats, together with to President Biden’s 2020 marketing campaign. She has backed Mr. Kennedy since final spring, when he was nonetheless in search of the Democratic nomination. In October, he grew to become an unbiased candidate, saying the Democratic Social gathering had corruptly blocked his efforts to problem Mr. Biden within the major race.

In an interview final month, Ms. Shanahan mentioned she had initially backed Mr. Kennedy as a result of she was “excited” by him, and was anxious about Mr. Biden’s well being. She mentioned she had spoken with Mr. Kennedy solely as soon as, on the telephone, when he was nonetheless operating as a Democrat.

When Mr. Kennedy left the occasion, she was “extremely disenchanted,” she mentioned, alarmed by how “divisive” she thought the transfer was. “I form of withdrew, and paused all my political giving.”

It was solely in January that she started to re-engage with Mr. Kennedy’s marketing campaign, and as she did, she mentioned, she discovered “virtually like a secret society of people” who had been backing him. “It was very, very attention-grabbing to me to listen to how individuals have been form of stirred by his message and his willingness to be on the market,” she mentioned.

She made the massive donation serving to to bankroll the Tremendous Bowl advert supporting Mr. Kennedy, which was purchased by an allied tremendous PAC, and advised The New York Instances that she had offered artistic steering. The advert, which repurposed a 1960 advert for Mr. Kennedy’s uncle, John F. Kennedy, drew criticism from members of the Kennedy household, who’ve emphatically distanced themselves from the marketing campaign.