Who Is RFK Jr.'s Running Mate, Nicole Shanahan?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, is running as an independent candidate in the 2024 presidential election. At an event in Oakland, California, on March 26, RFK Jr. officially announced his running mate: Nicole Shanahan. 

The announcement was preceded by a video shared on Instagram on March 18 in where he hinted at who he chose as his vice president, saying, "I can't tell you who it is right now, but I can tell you that I could not possibly have found a better partner for governing this country." At the time, he also said the news of his VP would "shake up the political establishment."

Shanahan hails from Oakland, where the announcement was made, and is an attorney and a philanthropist.  The 38-year-old has not run for office before, but is a noted supporter of Kennedy Jr. and paid for Kennedy Jr.'s Super Bowl advertisement (which sparked controversy, because many in his family do not agree with all his beliefs).

Before Nicole Shanahan was picked, RFK Jr. weighed many options

Per ABC News, before deciding on Nicole Shanahan as his running mate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. vetted other potential VPs. Not all the contenders were politicians. While the former governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura was believed to be an option, some others were NFL player Aaron Rodgers, Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs," and civil rights lawyer Tricia Lindsay.

Kennedy Jr.'s campaign director, Amaryllis Fox, went on X, formerly known as Twitter, on March 16 to discuss the contenders: "While I can't share a name, I will say that I could not be more thrilled with Bobby's decision. ... Regarding the candidates mentioned in the media, each has brought their own incomparable skills, experience and mindset to the campaign in different ways. I am profoundly grateful for them all." 

It's unclear how successful Kennedy Jr.'s campaign will be, even with Shanahan as his running mate. Celebrities have lined up to deny claims that they were supporting RFK Jr. in the 2024 election. His family isn't supportive either, hitting him where it hurts in response to his independent run by calling him out online.