Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is considering Aaron Rodgers or Jesse Ventura for a 2024 running mate

FILE - Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura talks to reporters outside the federal building in St. Paul, Minn., on Oct. 20, 2015. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is having conversations with vice presidential candidates as he gets closer to announcing his runningmate for his independent presidential bid. Kennedy told the New York Times that NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura are at the top of his list. (Elizabeth Flores /Star Tribune via AP, File)

FILE – Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura talks to reporters outside the federal building in St. Paul, Minn., on Oct. 20, 2015. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is having conversations with vice presidential candidates as he gets closer to announcing his runningmate for his independent presidential bid. Kennedy told the New York Times that NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura are at the top of his list. (Elizabeth Flores /Star Tribune via AP, File)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is having conversations with vice presidential candidates as he gets closer to announcing his running mate for his independent presidential bid.

Kennedy told The New York Times that NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura are at the top of his list. Stefanie Spear, a campaign spokesperson, confirmed the Times report and said there are other names on Kennedy’s short list.

Kennedy, a scion of one of the nation’s most prominent political families, has focused on getting access to the ballot, an expensive and time-consuming process that he has said will require him to collect more than a million signatures in a state-by-state effort.

Many states require independent candidates to name a running mate before they can seek access to the ballot, a factor driving the early push for Kennedy to make a pick. Major party candidates generally don’t pick vice presidential nominees until closer to their summer conventions.

Kennedy is a lawyer and environmental activist who has become a leading figure in the movement that rejects the scientific consensus around vaccines. and a vocal critic of the public health establishment.

After originally running as a Democrat, he refocused his efforts around an independent campaign last year, spooking loyalists of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, who worry he’ll pick up supporters who would otherwise back one of the major party candidates.

Rodgers, the longtime Green Bay Packers quarterback who now plays for the New York Jets, shares Kennedy’s distrust of vaccine mandates and, like Kennedy, is a fixture on anti-establishment podcasts. Ventura, a former professional wrestler, shocked observers when he won the race for Minnesota governor as an independent candidate in 1998.

AP Politics

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