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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent presidential candidate, was eliminated from contention for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination during their convention. Despite receiving support from 19 delegates, he was eliminated in the first round of voting, with Chase Oliver ultimately winning the nomination after seven rounds. Kennedy’s candidacy was met with boos from other delegates when he was nominated on the convention floor.

In a surprise move, Donald Trump was also nominated on the convention floor but was ruled unqualified by Libertarian Party Chair Angela McArdle due to not submitting nominating papers. Despite receiving votes from six delegates as a write-in candidate, Trump faced backlash from attendees and was openly booed at the convention. Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, linked to Trump’s hush money trial, received a vote from one delegate as a rebuke to the former president.

After being eliminated from contention, Kennedy urged Libertarians to support his campaign, highlighting the need for independents and third parties to unite against the corrupt two-party system. Despite not initially seeking the Libertarian nomination, Kennedy expressed gratitude for the groundswell of support he received at the convention. However, some delegates questioned his intentions, feeling that he was using the party for personal gain rather than respecting their values.

Kennedy had been courting Libertarian officials before leaving the Democratic Party to run as an independent, meeting with McArdle to discuss their shared beliefs. The Libertarian ticket was seen as a potential strategy for Kennedy to bypass ballot-access challenges, with the party having access to ballots in dozens of states. Kennedy’s running mate, Nicole Shanahan, emphasized the relevance of the Libertarian Party and the potential for success by working together.

Kennedy cited his free-market approach, opposition to war, and support for constitutional rights as reasons why his candidacy would appeal to Libertarian voters. His views on the environment, foreign policy, and Covid-19 align with Libertarian principles, making him a potential candidate to attract support from the party’s base. With his campaign gaining traction in national surveys, the rivalry between Kennedy and Trump has intensified, with the former president launching attacks against him.

As the election approaches and the competition tightens, Kennedy’s presence as an independent candidate poses a challenge for both Trump and President Joe Biden. Trump has escalated his attacks on Kennedy, portraying him as a “Democrat plant” in an effort to discredit his candidacy. The story is ongoing, with updates and additional developments expected as the election draws closer. CNN has contributed to the reporting of this story.

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