Robert F Kennedy Jr, the nephew of the assassinated former president John F Kennedy, has announced he will challenge Joe Biden to be the Democratic nominee for the White House next year.

He has filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, becoming the second person to announce themselves as a challenger to the incumbent Joe Biden.

Marianne Williamson, a self-help author, has also put herself forward as a candidate.

Mr Kennedy was, at one time, a best-selling author and environmental lawyer who campaigned on issues such as clean drinking water.

He has also been critical of the work of former presidents when it comes to environmental policy, and supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in 2007.

Mr Kennedy, 69, is the fourth member of his family line to run for president.

His father, Robert F Kennedy – often known as Bobby – was assassinated in 1968 during his own run for the White House.

While his uncle John – remembered simply as JFK – was infamously killed in Dallas in 1963 while serving as president.

John F. Kennedy rides through Dallas moments before he was assassinated, November 22, 1963
Image:
President John F Kennedy in Dallas moments before he was assassinated, on November 22, 1963

However, beyond his well-known relatives, Robert F Kennedy Jr is also famed for his opposition to vaccinations.

He has been involved in the movement long before the COVID-19 pandemic, with public health experts, and even members of his own family, criticising his views.

In 2021 his sister, Kerry Kennedy, called him “very dangerous” on the issue of vaccinations.

He has frequently linked vaccines to autism, a link that has been debunked several times, and rallied against the safety of injections, and during the pandemic, mask mandates.

The lawyer also runs an anti-vaccination charity, Children’s Health Defense, which cast doubt on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and amplified rare instances of so-called “vaccine injury” while simultaneously claiming the CDC manipulated real-world data which indicates the vaccine is safe.

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When Sky News challenged Kennedy – and why he reaches millions

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Anti-vax Kennedy Jr challenged by Sky reporter

Mr Kennedy has also appeared at events alongside Donald Trump allies who have pushed the theory that Democrats stole the election from the former president in 2020.

While a member of one of America’s most famous political dynasties, his run at the White House will likely fall short, with Joe Biden indicating that he will run again for a second term as president, despite concerns about his age.

For the Republican Party, it is also assumed Donald Trump will re-run for office, despite his ongoing court battles, while Florida governor Ron DeSantis has also indicated he will run.

Nikki Hayley, a former member of Donald Trump’s staff, will also run against the former president.

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