RFK Jr’s presidential campaign raised just $2.6m in May

The Kennedy campaign was not hugely bolstered by Nicole Shanahan last month, and finished May with around $6.4m

Amelia Neath,Eric Garcia
Thursday 20 June 2024 12:32 BST
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Robert F Kennedy Jr announces presidential run as an independent

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Robert F Kennedy Jr took in just $2.6 million for his presidential campaign in May, a very distinct difference from the two top players in the presidential race, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

The figure was released in a new Federal Election Commission filing on Wednesday, revealing that his campaign spent around $6.3m last month, with a lot of those funds sent through a limited liability company focusing on ballot access, CNN reported.

Last month saw the Kennedy campaign raising less than it had done in any previous month in 2024, the New York Times stated, after Nicole Shanahan, a Silicon Valley lawyer and Kennedy’s running mate, hardly contributed to the funds as she has generously done in previous months.

Shanahan has spent millions on the independent campaign, giving $8m to the fund in April; the campaign raised $10.7m that month overall.

Disregarding Shanahan’s April contributions, the total funds raised in April and May would be essentially the same.

Presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr speaks at the Washington Hilton during the Libertarian Party national convention on 24 May 2024
Presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr speaks at the Washington Hilton during the Libertarian Party national convention on 24 May 2024 (Getty Images)

The filing showed that the campaign spent around $2.7m on a consulting firm, Accelevate 2020 LLC, that provides ballot access consulting services, which the company has also provided to several federal candidates, such as former Republican candidate Nikki Haley, CNN states.

In terms of other expenditures in May, the Kennedy campaign also spent their money on securing ballot access, directing tens of thousands of dollars towards it.

More than $380,000 also went to internet advertising, according to CNN.

The Kennedy campaign ended in May with around $6.4m cash on hand, highlighting a stark difference between his major presidential rivals, Biden and Trump.

The most recent data shows that at the end of April, CNN reports, the Biden campaign in the pursuit of the White House, showed that they held $84.5m in their campaign funds, while Trump’s campaign said they had $49.1 in cash on hand.

In terms of raking in the cash, the Kennedy figures also stand rather muted in comparison to Biden and Trump’s efforts.

On Saturday, Biden raised $30 million at a star-studded fundraiser in Los Angeles, California.

RFK Jr’s running mate, Nicole Shanahan speaks to attendees during a campaign rally in Austin, Texas
RFK Jr’s running mate, Nicole Shanahan speaks to attendees during a campaign rally in Austin, Texas (Getty Images)

The Trump campaign says they also gained a $141m haul in the month of May, which included $52.8 million collected in the 24 hours immediately after its candidate was found guilty on all counts at his New York hush money trial on May 30.

In March, Mr Kennedy announced Shanahan as his running mate after much speculation about whom he would pick. Previously, she had given to Democrats such as Representative Ro Khanna, Hillary Clinton and Biden.

The ex-wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Shanahan has also amassed a significant fortune after she sold her patent technology company.

Shanahan’s personal wealth has proven to be a valuable asset; while campaign finance laws cap the amount of contributions per individual, candidates can donate an unlimited amount to their own campaign.

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