Robert Kennedy Jr. and a super PAC backing his 2024 presidential campaign have raised $50 million, according to new federal election records released Wednesday. Half of that staggering cash haul has come from two people.
Timothy Mellon, a Republican megadonor who has also backed former President Donald Trump, has donated another $10 million to the pro-Kennedy super PAC, American Values 2024. Mellon, an heir to the Mellon banking fortune, gave a total of $15 million to the group in 2023. He separately donated $10 million to Make America Great Again Inc., a pro-Trump super PAC, in the second half of 2023.
Gavin de Becker, who leads Kennedy’s private security team, donated $5.5 million to American Values 2024 in October; he has given a total of $10 million to the pro-Kennedy super PAC. His security firm, Gavin de Becker and Associates, has been paid $1.5 million by Kennedy’s campaign. De Becker has reportedly provided security for A-list celebrities like Cher and John Travolta as well as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Kennedy, known for his anti-vaccine activism, is running as an independent against President Joe Biden and Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. American Values 2024 is leading efforts to secure ballot access for Kennedy’s third-party campaign.
In October, Kennedy’s campaign wrote in a press release that an intruder had been arrested twice after trying to climb the fence at Kennedy’s home, noting that de Becker’s security firm had “detained the intruder, who asked to see the candidate.”
Kennedy’s campaign posted a plea from de Becker on Instagram requesting donations: “I’m reaching out to you with an unusual fundraising request,” de Becker wrote. “The Biden Administration has refused to provide Secret Service protection to RFK Jr., which means thirty cents of every dollar donated to his campaign has to go toward security. Normally, none of it would. I would gladly pay for his security myself — but that’s not allowed, because it would be a campaign contribution above the limit.”
To date, roughly seven percent of the money raised by Kennedy’s campaign has been paid to de Becker’s security firm — though he has donated significantly more than that to the Kennedy super PAC.
The digital media outlet Puck has described de Becker as “a tried-and-true RFK believer and personal friend of the candidate.”
“I have been a supporter of Democratic candidates for decades, and I find RFK Jr. to be more committed to genuine Democratic values than the [Democratic National Committee] itself,” de Becker told the outlet.
More from Rolling Stone
Best of Rolling Stone