Pro-Kennedy Super PAC Says It Has Raised $10 Million


A political action committee supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign has raised a total of $10.25 million, one of its leaders said on Monday, a signal that his long-shot challenge to President Biden has gained traction among donors, including many Republicans.

The precise level of fund-raising by the super PAC, American Values 2024, will not be known until later this month, when political action committees file midyear reports with the Federal Election Commission. But Tony Lyons, Mr. Kennedy’s publisher and the super PAC’s co-chair, said that the $10.25 million included two “very large” donations that each exceed $1 million, and that the contributions came from a “right down the middle” mix of Republicans and Democrats.

Mr. Kennedy, a 69-year-old environmental lawyer and prominent skeptic of vaccines and prescription medications, often cites contorted statistics and unfounded theories. He has gained a foothold in the race, even as he has railed against the Democratic Party, accused public health authorities of corruption and increasingly embraced conservative figures and causes.

Mr. Kennedy will not come close to summoning the kind of financial support that will flow to Mr. Biden, who as the incumbent has the might of the Democratic National Committee and a robust donor infrastructure behind him.

Mr. Kennedy’s support among Democrats has reached as high as 20 percent in polls, although a poll conducted in June by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center put his Democratic support in New Hampshire at 9 percent.

He has also appealed to prospective voters outside the party: A Quinnipiac University poll in June found that 40 percent of Republicans viewed him favorably, compared with 31 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats.

Mr. Biden’s campaign has not yet announced fund-raising numbers.

The super PAC American Values 2024 was formed last year as the People’s Pharma Movement, and was initially financed by $500,000 in contributions from Mark Gorton, a New York City investor, records show. Mr. Gorton, who is supporting Mr. Kennedy’s candidacy, has said he knows Mr. Kennedy through the “health freedom” movement, which broadly opposes vaccinations and the regulation of health practices.

The committee was renamed this past spring, after Mr. Kennedy entered the race for the Democratic nomination in April. A majority of the $10.25 million has come since then, Mr. Lyons said. As recently as the first week of June, the PAC’s total haul was $5.7 million, committee officials said, indicating that nearly $5 million more arrived in the weeks before the June 30 reporting deadline.

The range of political affiliations among the donors, Mr. Lyons said, showed that “there really are people across the political spectrum who feel he’s going to fight corruption in government and corporate takeover of government agencies.”

In recent speeches and appearances, Mr. Kennedy has leaned on his family’s storied political history, and framed his race as a bid to “heal the divide” in American politics, which he has described as being captive to corporate power.

The PAC is separate from his campaign, which last week sent out requests to hit a $5 million goal to close out its first full quarter of fund-raising. On Friday, the campaign boasted of a $1 million haul in a 24-hour period.

Dennis Kucinich, the former presidential candidate and former Ohio congressman who is serving as Mr. Kennedy’s campaign manager, said the campaign expected to make a fund-raising announcement this week. Official numbers will be filed with the F.E.C. this month.

A second group supporting Mr. Kennedy, Common Sense PAC, was formed in Los Angeles in April by Sofia Karstens, an actress who has been active in the health freedom movement. Common Sense hosted a fund-raiser for Mr. Kennedy last month in San Francisco along with two tech investors, David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya. That event raised nearly $1 million, Ms. Karstens said.

Ms. Karstens did not have the PAC’s latest total fund-raising immediately available on Monday.


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