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Independent presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, Jr. submits Tennessee ballot petitions

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Independent presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, Jr. submits Tennessee ballot petitions

Jun 13, 2024 | 11:00 pm ET
By J. Holly McCall
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Independent presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, Jr. submits Tennessee ballot petitions
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Third party presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on stage at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the independent presidential candidate and son of the late New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, has filed petition signatures in his attempt to qualify for Tennessee’s November ballot.

According to a campaign announcement, Kennedy’s team submitted 1,025 signatures to the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office for verification.

Candidates affiliated with one of the two major political parties, Democratic and Republican, must collect 2,500 signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot while independent candidates need only submit 275 signatures.

“Ensuring Mr. Kennedy gets on every state’s ballot is important to me because I believe in the concept of freedom, which I fought for and many of my brothers died for,” said Tennessee campaign volunteer Tommy Aceto in a statement.

Kennedy is on the ballot in eight states so far and has submitted petitions in an additional 13.

In May, Kennedy and vice-presidential running mate Nicole Shanahan, a tech industry veteran, appeared at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium for a campaign event. He arrived four hours late, citing a family emergency, and did not address any campaign issues.

According to the campaign website, the environmental lawyer’s platform includes what he refers to as putting an end to “the chronic disease epidemic,” providing tax-free 3% government-backed mortgage bonds to address housing affordability and reducing abortions.

Kennedy has gained notoriety for promotion of scientifically disproven theories, including that childhood vaccines cause autism and for promoting conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and COVID vaccines.