Democratic congressional candidate Amy Kennedy supports legislation to bar nearly all exemptions to vaccines in public or private schools, putting her on the opposite side of her cousin, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Robert Kennedy, a prominent anti-vaccination activist, was in New Jersey on Tuesday to raise money for Assemblyman Jamel Holley (R-Roselle). Holley played a leading role opposing the elimination of religious exemptions on vaccinations.
“All of Amy’s kids are vaccinated,” her campaign manager, Joshua Roesch, said. “She thinks it’s really important to have kids vaccinated.”
Other Kennedy family members have criticized Robert Kennedy for his position, including his sister, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and his brother, former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-Massachusetts).
“On this issue, Bobby is an outlier in the Kennedy family,” his siblings wrote in a column for POLITICO.
Robert Kennedy is chairman of Children’s Health Defense, which claims that vaccines increase childhood conditions like autism.
“I am not anti-vaccine,” he told the New York Times. “I want safe vaccines with robust safety testing.”
Amy Kennedy is the wife of former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-Rhode Island), the son of the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy. He is Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s first cousin.
The mother of five is seeking the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd district, where Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) is seeking re-election as a Republican after switching parties last month.
The New Jersey Globe reported yesterday that Holley said he raised $100,000 at the fundraiser headlined by Robert Kennedy.