Robert Kennedy Jr., a noted anti-vaccine advocate whose uncle “JFK” was the 35th US president, formally announced his White House bid on Wednesday.
The 69-year-old outsider intends to compete for the Democratic Party nomination against incumbent President Joe Biden, who has not yet announced his bid but has repeatedly said he plans to run.
Kennedy’s father “RFK” served as attorney general under Democratic President John F. Kennedy and later as a US senator from New York.
The assassinations of both brothers – JFK in 1963 and RFK in 1968 during his own presidential campaign – are seen as one of the most significant events in 20th-century American politics.
RFK Jr. worked for decades as an environmental advocate, but has been known since 2005 for promoting conspiracy theories about vaccines, specifically linking them to the development of autism.
“I am here today to announce my candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States,” he said at the launch of his campaign in Massachusetts, the Kennedy family stronghold.
Among the throngs gathered in Boston, many supporters wore hats with anti-vaccine messages.
Kennedy vowed to end the deep political divisions in the United States by “telling the truth to the American people”.
Despite his highly recognized name, Kennedy’s bid is a longshot against incumbent Biden, whose own official launch is expected later in the year, though no date has been announced.
A few others have also announced they will challenge Biden, 80, for the Democratic nomination, but no high-profile names have joined the race.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)