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RFK Jr. to be on Texas presidential ballot

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced during a rally in Austin on Monday that he had collected the necessary number of signatures for ballot access as an Independent candidate for president in Texas.

In Texas, an Independent candidate must submit an application with 113,151 signatures of registered voters who did not vote in the presidential primary of either party.

On Monday, Kennedy turned in his petition to the Secretary of State's Office with 245,572 signatures.

“We had a historic day in Texas,” Kennedy told the crowd at the Austin rally regarding the number of signatures his campaign accrued.

“That’s more than any presidential candidacy in the history of Texas and in the history of our country.”

The Kennedy campaign now says it has collected the necessary signatures to gain ballot access in 14 states.

In a Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation poll of 1,600 likely voters, 9 percent of those polled said they intend to vote for Kennedy in a five-way presidential race.

Former President Donald Trump, the 2024 candidate for the GOP, recently called Kennedy a “Democrat plant” and a “radical liberal” while urging Republicans not to cast a “wasted protest vote.”

Kennedy initially launched his campaign for president in April last year as a Democrat, but soon announced in October that he would be running as an Independent candidate. 

Equipped with a famous last name, Kennedy’s celebrity has grown during his presidential run as he continues to grab the attention of the media and public for his unique policy positions.

An environmental lawyer, Kennedy has a long history of advocating to curb climate change. His campaign website details a number of different policy initiatives that he says will make him “the best environmental president in American history.”

In contrast to his environmentalist positioning, several of the nation’s largest environmental groups have publicly disavowed Kennedy, saying, “We can’t, in good conscience, let him continue co-opting the credibility and successes of the environmental movement for his own personal benefit.”

Kennedy also plans to propose a policy initiative called “More Choices, More Life” that will subsidize daycare in an effort to “dramatically reduce abortion in this country, and it will do so by offering more choices for women and families, not less.” 

However, Kennedy said in a recent interview that he opposes any government restrictions on abortions, ”even if it's full term.”

When it comes to Second Amendment rights, Kennedy has said, “I’m not going to take anyone’s guns away.” During a town hall, he said, “We have a Supreme Court now that has given a very expansive view of the Second Amendment. … Practically, I do not believe that there is, within that Second Amendment, that there’s anything we can meaningfully do to reduce the trade in the ownership of guns.”

Gun rights rhetoric from Kennedy has modulated over the years, as illustrated in 2018 when he called the National Rifle Association a “terror group.”

Kennedy has also argued against the use of mass vaccination and served as chair of the Children's Health Defense. He was also stridently opposed to the COVID-19 vaccines.

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