A Kennedy to Challenge Biden for 2024 Democratic Nomination

April 6, 2023 by Dan McCue
A Kennedy to Challenge Biden for 2024 Democratic Nomination
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. during a protest against the Covid-19 vaccination green pass in Milan, Italy, on November 13, 2021. (Antonio Calanni/Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist and conspiracy theorist who also happens to be heir to the legacy of one of America’s most famous political families, is running for president.

Kennedy, a Democrat, filed his registration form for the 2024 presidential election with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, four business days after the incumbent Democrat, President Joe Biden, filed his own paperwork.

He will formally announce his candidacy on April 19, Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts, at Boston Park Plaza in Boston, his campaign has said.

Kennedy joins self-help author and second-time candidate Marianne Williamson as the most high profile of the Democratic candidates waging long-shot challenges to Biden for the party’s nomination.

But registering with the FEC is the easiest step in the whole process. By law, individuals are required to register as candidates with the commission for the purpose of disclosing campaign finance activity.

And they must do so within 15 days of exceeding $5,000 in receipts or disbursements.

Already, according to FEC records, more than 700 people, of all manner of political persuasion, have filed to run for president in 2024, though an exact number is hard to establish — some candidates apparently have filed their papers more than once, including a “Jesus Christ,” who apparently did so twice in the past week.

The far more difficult task, and one for only the truly serious, is obtaining ballot access in each state, and all have their own rules and deadlines for doing so.

The National Association of Secretaries of State has a document released in January 2020 which provides a summary of the then-current laws in each state relevant to the placement of a candidate for president on the general election ballot, as well as the requirements for a presidential candidate to run as a write-in candidate.

The association is planning to update the document prior to the start of the 2024 primary season, according to Maria Benson, its director of communications.

In addition, the National Conference of State Legislatures maintains a database that contains state legislation related to the administration of elections introduced in 2011 through this year.

Kennedy, the son of former New York senator, attorney general, and assassinated 1968 presidential candidate, Robert F. Kennedy, is also the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy.

Where he was once known primarily as an environmental lawyer, working with the group that led the cleanup of New York’s Hudson River, in recent years he’s been far more well-known for his controversial opposition to the coronavirus, and other, vaccines.

In a best-selling book, Kennedy even went so far as to claim Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top White House advisor on the pandemic, had struck a deal with the pharmaceutical industry to profit off the vaccines and had engaged in “a historic coup d’etat against Western democracy.” 

That prompted a sharp, public rebuke from other Kennedy family members who argued that he was “part of a misinformation campaign that’s having heartbreaking — and deadly — consequences.”

Prior to his controversies, Kennedy worked for Natural Resources Defense Council and co-founded an environmental law firm.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

 

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