RFK Jr. Clears ‘Nightmare’ Electoral Hurdles

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. | Image by Kellen McGovern Jones/The Dallas Express
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. | Image by Kellen McGovern Jones/The Dallas Express

AUSTIN — Presidential aspirant Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claimed to have made electoral history in Texas at a rally in Austin on Monday.

Just a few blocks from the Capitol at Brazos Hall, Kennedy said, “We had a historic today in Texas. We handed in just under 250,000 signatures. That is more than any other presidential candidacy in the history of Texas and in the history of our country.”

Since he is an independent presidential contender, Kennedy is required by Texas law to overcome a high burden to be placed on the state’s general election ballot. Part of the burden stems from the requirement that independent presidential candidates acquire 113,151 signatures on a petition to appear on the ballot, according to Ballotpedia.

Ballot access expert Richard Winger previously called Texas’ ballot access restrictions a “nightmare” during an appearance on RFK Jr.’s podcast.

“First of all, [Texas] has one of the earliest petition deadlines: May. Almost all states have their deadlines in August,” Winger later elaborated on the Cowtown Caller podcast. “Second, Texas is the only state where a person can’t sign the petition for an independent candidate if that person voted in the March primaries.”

Winger went on to explain that this forces petitioners to find new voters or people who did not vote in the primary to get legally valid signatures. This can disqualify “maybe a third” of potential signatories, he added.

He further noted that Texas provides an extremely short period of time to gather the requisite signatures.

“Texas is the worst state in the country for someone running for president outside the major parties,” Winger concluded.

At a previous event at EarthX, an environmental conference in Dallas, RFK Jr. was asked why he had collected far more signatures than the legally mandated number. He answered that a surplus was necessary in case the validity of any of the signatures was challenged.

Kennedy appears to have cleared the myriad hurdles successfully, giving Texans the opportunity to vote for the man for president.

At the rally on Monday, Kennedy’s campaign projected images of him and his running mate, tech industry attorney Nicole Shanahan, carrying the last two boxes of signatures into a Texas government office that morning before he gave his speech. His X account has likewise shared a letter from Secretary of State Jane Nelson confirming her office’s receipt of the signatures.

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