Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. hired a Republican lawmaker in New Hampshire, The New Republic reported Tuesday.
Kennedy, whose platform has appealed to some conservatives, hired New Hampshire state Rep. Aidan Ankarberg for an undisclosed position in his campaign, according to TNR. Ankarberg is a top Republican in the state legislature who served as the deputy majority whip until March, and was previously endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
“He’s got the broadest appeal of anybody that’s run in a long time,” former Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who heads Kennedy’s campaign, told TNR. “Mr. Kennedy has crossover appeal. And it’s really powerful. And we had Republicans who are coming over. We have independents. We have libertarians, we have conservatives, we have liberals, every stripe of political following and endeavor is moving toward our campaign.”
Ankarberg previously ran for the state legislature as a Libertarian in 2012 and lost, according to Ballotpedia. The lawmaker has held two different seats in the state House, which he secured in 2020 and 2022.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley was surprised at Kennedy’s hire, he told TNR.
“Well, I’ve been around primaries for many decades, and never has a Republican state representative worked for a Democratic candidate and never has a Democratic state representative worked for a Republican yet,” said Buckley. “This is a paid employee. This isn’t someone who endorsed him. This is off the charts weird.”
The hire comes as Kennedy continues to break from the modern Democratic Party on issues like the U.S.’ involvement in Ukraine, censorship of opposing views, the COVID-19 vaccine and others. Kennedy recently sat down with Daily Caller News Foundation co-founder Tucker Carlson where he criticized President Joe Biden for his continued support of aid to Ukraine.
Kennedy has 12% support in New Hampshire, with Biden and self-help author Marianne Williamson garnering 65% and 4%, respectively, according to an Aug. 15 Emerson College poll. A mid-July University of New Hampshire surveyindicates Biden is leading Kennedy by 60 points, and Williamson has 4% support.
The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Democratic primary, based on polls conducted between July 7 and Aug. 4, indicates Kennedy has 13.4% support, compared to Biden’s 63.7% and Williamson’s 5.9%.
Ankarberg did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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