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RFK Jr. Gains Ballot Access in Texas with Double the Number of Required Signatures

‘If we can get on in Texas, we can get on everywhere’

RFK Jr. Gains Ballot Access in Texas with Double the Number of Required Signatures

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. submitted more than double the number of signatures required to appear on the Texas ballot on Monday.

The Lone Star State requires 113,151 signatures from registered voters. Kennedy submitted 245,572 to the Secretary of State.

“That’s more than any presidential candidacy in the history of Texas – and in the history of our country,” the independent candidate said during a rally in Austin after the submission. “The Texas legislature … changed the rules … to double the number of signatures needed to be collected because they thought nobody would ever be able to do it.”

“The pundits … were saying it would be impossible for us to get on the ballot, and we got on the ballot in Texas,” Kennedy added. “And if we can get on in Texas, we can get on everywhere.”

“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 stated in a press release.

The campaign noted that Kennedy is the first independent presidential candidate to secure Texas ballot access in nearly a quarter century. The last political figure to pull of the feat was Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan in 2000. At the time, the signature requirement was 56,000.

Kennedy and running mate Nicole Shanahan are now officially on the ballot in five states in addition to Texas: Utah, Michigan, California, Delaware, and Oklahoma. The pair have gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in eight other states: New Hampshire, Nevada, Hawaii, North Carolina, Idaho, Nebraska, Iowa, and Ohio.

Michael Arno, the founder of a ballot access firm that worked with the political organization No Labels to help Kennedy’s campaign, said the candidate’s latest efforts are “a real feather in their cap.”

“In the last two or three months, I’ve been very impressed with the Kennedy operation for being able to smartly maneuver and get on ballots that were expensive and difficult,” her said, per POLITICO. “It sounds like they’ve done very well in both Texas and New York, and that’s very impressive.”

Though the outlet conceded that Kennedy’s campaign has succeeded against “strenuous requirements,” significant future challenges remain:

Even with the early successes, nothing is final until state officials review the campaign’s signatures to certify the Kennedy ticket’s addition to the November ballot, and legal challenges from outside groups could still arise. But the Kennedy campaign had already won numerous legal challenges on ballot access this year, including a challenge against Kennedy’s formation of a new third party in Hawaii.

Last week, Kennedy challenged former President Donald Trump to a debate at the Libertarian National Convention later this month, where both candidates will make an appearance.

The independent candidate began his message by thanking Trump for calling attention to “rigged polling methodologies that DNC-biased media have used against you.” Kennedy went on to say this was a concern for his campaign as well and offered to provide the deceptive methodologies from pollsters “who pretend that I’m in single digits.”

Kennedy said these concerns led him to use Zogby Analytics, a research partner that offers what the candidate referred to as “the largest and most accurate poll of this election cycle."

In Zogby’s head-to-head matchups between Kennedy, Trump and President Joe Biden, Biden loses to both candidates.

“I crush him ... by even more,” Kennedy told Trump. “And against each other, I beat you in a nail-biter.”

“In a three-way, you are ahead but I’m coming up strong,” the X post continued. “Two new polls (CNN and Quinnipiac) have me above the 15% debate threshold. Another (Activote) has me at 26% among young voters. And you and I are tied among America’s 70 million Independents.”

Kennedy claimed to be pulling away a significant number of Trump’s former supporters.

“They are upset that you blew up the deficit, shut down their businesses during Covid, and filled your administration with swamp creatures,” he added.

Prior to Kennedy’s challenge, Trump said the candidate’s polling numbers were too low to merit a debate.

“He's not a serious candidate," Trump said.

The former president noted some have indicated Kennedy's campaign hurts President Biden's re-election efforts more than Trump's.

"I don't know who he hurts. He might hurt me, I don't know," Trump continued. "But he has very low numbers, certainly not numbers he can debate with. He's gotta get his numbers up a lot higher before he's credible."

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