RFK Jr. Picks 38-Year-Old Tech Entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan to Be His Running Mate

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced Tuesday that he has chosen Nicole Shanahan, a wealthy attorney and tech entrepreneur in the San Francisco Bay Area, to be his vice president.

During an announcement event Tuesday in Oakland, California, Kennedy described Shanahan, 38, as a kindred spirit who, like him, has become disaffected with a Democrat party that no longer looks out for the middle class or defends the right to free speech.

“Our values didn’t change, but the Democratic party did,” he said. “The things that we love are still the same: We love our families, our children, and our faith. We love clean air and clean water and productive soil and good food,” RFK Jr. said. “We love the wilderness and our purple mountains majesty, and above all, we love our country.”

During the announcement rally Tuesday, warmup speakers included Kennedy’s communications director Del Bigtree, a fellow vaccine critic, and Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford professor and outspoken opponent of the COVID lockdowns.

Kennedy said Shanahan grew up in Oakland, “the daughter of impoverished immigrants—she grew up on food stamps and Welfare in the city.” He added that “her very, very American journey took her to a career as a patent attorney and as a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur and as a Stanford University fellow.”

Growing up, her Chinese mother worked as a secretary and her Irish father struggled to hold a job due to substance abuse problems.

Shanahan, the ex-wife of  Google co-founder Sergey Brin, contributed the maximum of $6,600 to Kennedy’s campaign in 2023 and $4 million to his super PAC in 2024 to fund his Super Bowl campaign commercial.

Before she became a “disillusioned Democrat,” Shanahan contributed to various left-wing organizations and Democrat political candidates, including Marianne Williamson and Pete Buttigieg. In 2020, she contributed $150,000 to support the Soros-backed candidacy of George Gascón in his challenge to incumbent Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. After Joe Biden became the Democrat presidential nominee in 2020, she supported his campaign, contributing $25,000 to the Biden Victory Fund.

Shanahan was also a “major donor” in 2020 for “Measure J,” a criminal justice reform referendum that requires that ten percent of Los Angeles County’s unrestricted general funds—between $360 million and $900 million per year—are spent on “social services” and “mental health treatment,” rather than law enforcement and prisons.

In 2023, Shanahan married Jacob Strumwasser, an advisor at Lightning Labs, a bitcoin software company, in a “love ceremony” of commitment, People reported. The two reportedly met at the Burning Man festival in summer 2022. Shanahan described the “love ceremony” as a handfasting ritual, which is influenced by Druidic traditions.

Shanahan has an autistic daughter and recently funded research into the disorder’s causes, NBC reported. She told the New York Times in February that she had decided to support Kennedy due to her concerns about how the environment and vaccines are impacting the nation’s health.

Other potential running mates considered by Kennedy included New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, former Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and TV host Mike Rowe.

In the end, Kennedy went with Shanahan, saying she wants all the same things he does.

We want America to live up to live up to her highest ideals. We want her to be an exemplary nation again—a global leader in freedom, opportunity, and responsible government. We want America to be a peacemaker. A moral authority. We want our children to grow up as I did, in a country for which they feel love and pride.

Nicole and I share all of these values and you know what? Despite the artificially orchestrated divisions, nearly all Americans share the same values that we do.

Kennedy explained why he and Shanahan ultimately left the Democrat party.

“She now understands that the Defense agencies work for the military industrial complex, that health agencies work for Big Pharma, that the USDA works for Big Ag and the processed food cartels, that the EPA is in cahoots with the polluters, that scientists can be mercenaries, that government officials sometimes act as censors, and that the Fed works for Wall Street and allows millionaire bankers to pray upon Main Street and the American worker,” he said. “That’s why Nicole and I both left the Democratic party.”

Kennedy went on to say that he and Shanahan both share doubts that “the corporate-captured uniparty” can produce leaders capable of imagining a different, more hopeful version of America for the future.

Kennedy explained that technology can be a powerful force for good, but in the wrong hands, it can turn its power against humanity.

“We don’t believe that either Donald Trump or President Biden understands the promise or the peril of technology sufficiently to direct its trajectory toward freedom, and healing and prosperity,” he said.

“And we’re now witnessing this dismaying contest between the two oldest presidential candidates in history,” Kennedy added, slamming them both for “closing main street businesses” for a year.

“If we vote for either of them again, we can expect and we will deserve to see more of the same. The annihilation of our middle class, the further impoverishment of working poor, more chronic disease, more epidemics, more environmental destruction, more debt, more war, and fewer Constitutional rights,” he said.

Shanahan said that as she has reconsidered the Democrat party, she has come to see conservative voters in a different light.

“I have met farmers. I have met hunters that are some of the most staunch conservationists I have ever met, who understand ecosystems better than most,” she said.

I have met mothers protecting their children who are searching every possible avenue for their health. And yet the Republican party, like the Democratic is letting them down because the actions of the party are diverting from the values that actually support individual freedom. In fact, the very failure of both parties to do their job to protect their founding values has contributed to the decline of this country in my lifetime. Maybe that’s why I see so many Republicans disillusioned with their party as I become disillusioned with mine.

Shanahan urged the disillusioned Republicans to join her “in this movement to unify and heal America.”


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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 26: Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (R) and his vice presidential pick Nicole Shanahan take the stage during a campaign event to announce his pick for a running mate at the Henry J. Kaiser Event Center on March 26, 2024 in Oakland, California. Nicole Shanahan is an attorney and tech entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)