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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign is racking up big expenses with Gavin de Becker’s security firm

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s campaign is racking up big expenses with Gavin de Becker's security firm
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign is struggling to build up cash as it spent nearly as much as it raised last month — all while racking up nearly $1.4 million in debts to the private security firm run by security specialist Gavin de Becker.

The campaign reported raising $3.1 million and spending $2.8 million in February, not including the money owed to de Becker.

The latest filing, submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, underscores the financial challenges for Kennedy as he attempts a longshot independent bid for the White House. Even as he has managed to raise nearly $28 million since launching his campaign last year, he has spent heavily. His campaign reported having a little over $5 million cash on hand at the end of the month, far behind the campaigns of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Kennedy’s campaign also reported significant funds owed to Gavin De Becker and Associates, the private security firm owned by de Becker, a longtime friend of Kennedy.

De Becker is also a major backer of Kennedy’s bid. And he has an unusual financial relationship with the pro-Kennedy super PAC, having donated millions of dollars to it in what he considers a combination of contributions and “bridge funding.” A separate disclosure Wednesday from the pro-Kennedy super PAC, American Values 2024, showed De Becker gave it another $4 million in February, accounting for nearly all of the $4.1 million the group reported raising in the month. He is now the largest donor to the PAC after reclusive GOP mega-donor Tim Mellon.

Kennedy’s campaign paid de Becker’s firm a bit more than $200,000 in February for security services and associated travel expenses, bringing the total they’ve paid to Gavin de Becker & Associates to more than $2 million. That does not include the outstanding debt.

The campaign and de Becker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and vaccine skeptic-turned presidential candidate, has made repeated pleas to receive Secret Service protection on the campaign trail. But the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t granted it. Typically only major party candidates receive Secret Service protection, and Kennedy left the Democratic Party primary race to run as an independent in October. But Kennedy is polling higher than other independent candidates from previous election cycles and says he is uniquely vulnerable due to the assassinations of his father and uncle.

Kennedy said in an interview with NewsNation that he “hoped” his family members, who recently visited the White House, “took the time to talk to President Biden and ask him to provide me Secret Service protection.”

De Becker’s security team apprehended a trespasser at Kennedy’s home in Southern California and prevented an armed man from entering a campaign event last year.

The Kennedy campaign’s other major expense categories include staff salaries and consulting. Many senior staffers on Team Kennedy are friends and family members, some of whom are paid as consultants through LLCs. Consulting fees accounted for $306,000 of total expenses last month, of which communication director Del Bigtree was paid $20,000 and senior adviser Charles Eisenstein was paid $15,030. Both were paid through separate companies.

Salaries accounted for $377,000 in expenses. Stefanie Spear, a long-time friend and former colleague at Children’s Health Defense, made a bit more than $13,000 in February as Kennedy’s traveling press secretary. And campaign manager Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, Kennedy’s daughter-in-law, was paid around $15,700, earning a total of $63,000 since taking the campaign’s top job in mid-October.

Other significant campaign expenses in February included roughly $325,000 on digital advertising and $165,000 on travel.

The super PAC, American Values 2024, reported spending just shy of $8.8 million in March, with the group’s Super Bowl ad buy accounting for the majority of that.

The PAC also spent $949,714 on ballot access efforts between several vendors. These expenses were paid out about one month before PAC co-founder Tony Lyon’s announced on X that American Values would no longer work on getting Kennedy on the ballot.

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