RFK Jr. claims enough signatures for ballot in Texas

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Monday said he has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in Texas, fulfilling one of his campaign’s main targets ahead of November.

Kennedy and his running mate, Nicole Shanahan, turned in 245,572 signatures to the Texas Secretary of State’s office on Monday, more than double the number required for access to the Lone Star State presidential ballot, his campaign said.

“It’s official. Kennedy-Shanahan on Texas ballot! By collecting nearly a quarter of a million signatures in just two months, the campaign has shown it can overcome the most difficult ballot access requirement in the country,” Kennedy’s campaign press secretary Stephanie Spear wrote Monday on the social platform X.

The Texas Secretary of State’s Office confirmed it received the petition but could not confirm the number of listed signatures.

Texas, which has the second-highest number of electoral college votes with 40 votes, is the 14th state where the independent candidate has claimed ballot access so far. That list also includes California, which has the most electoral college votes in the country with 54 votes.

He is the first independent presidential candidate to gain access to the Texas ballot since Pat Buchanan ran for the Oval Office in 2000, Kennedy’s campaign said.

While Kennedy, who switched from the Democratic party to an independent last fall, is vying for access to all 50 states, political strategists predict he likely only needs a few significant states to create a “spoiler” effect.

Spear told The Hill last week that Kennedy’s campaign is seeking to “pull votes away from disenfranchised votes of both President Biden and President Trump.”

RFK Jr. is currently polling at about 8 percent of the national vote, while Trump has just more than 41 percent and Biden has about 40 percent, according to a polling index by Decision Desk HQ/The Hill.

In addition to Texas and California, the environmental lawyer said he has made the ballots in Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah. Of the 14 states, Decision Desk HQ has confirmed the candidate has access to Michigan, Oklahoma and Utah.

Updated at 3:34 pm.

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