What does Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have in common with The Golden Bachelor?
According to Federal Election Commission records, the longshot presidential candidate shared the same stylist as Gerry Turner of the popular ABC dating series.
In Kennedy’s most recent financial filing with the FEC posted last week, his campaign disclosed that it had paid stylist and costume designer Tom Soluri $6,178 for style consulting back in October. On his Instagram last June, Soluri announced his work with Kennedy, sharing an image of the candidate dressed in a dark blue suit and matching tie alongside his wife, Cheryl Hines.
“I had the privilege of working with Robert F. Kennedy Jr on his Presidential announcement and run,” Soluri said on Instagram. It was an amazing experience to style such an influential figure in American politics.”
Weeks later, Soluri posted a photo of Turner, writing that he had also helped style the oldest Bachelor star in the history of the series. A spokesperson for Disney confirmed that Soluri styled Turner in promotional material for the show. Soluri did not respond to a request for comment from WIRED.
Soluri’s costuming portfolio touts work on films like Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and the TV series Gossip Girl, dressing both Blake Lively and Leighton Meester throughout the years 2007 and 2008.
Kennedy’s foray into celebrity styling comes as the vaccine skeptic has seemingly ramped up efforts to leverage his name recognition and Hollywood connections to bolster his presidential bid. In the past few weeks alone, Kennedy has posted photos and videos with famous figures like life coach Tony Robbins and professional surfer Kelly Slater. Still, many politicians have ventured into professional styling throughout history, often spending far more than Kennedy for the help. While running as John McCain’s vice president in 2008, Sarah Palin’s team hired stylist Lisa A. Kline and spent $150,000 on a brand-new wardrobe (much of which Kline said was returned).
The Kennedy campaign is also facing some tough headwinds when it comes to even getting on the general election ballot. After announcing his bid for president as a Democrat in April, Kennedy decided to run as an Independent in October. The requirements for Independent candidates to gain ballot access vary across states, making it difficult for anyone outside of the Democratic and Republican parties to run a promising general election campaign. Kennedy’s team is reportedly struggling to find all the signatures necessary to get on state ballots and has considered launching its own “We the People” party or linking arms with the Libertarian party to prop up his chances.
Even if Kennedy’s campaign faces an uphill battle on ballot access, his team and pro-Kennedy super PACs are continuing to grow his network of supporters. In recent months, he has traveled across the country, holding galas and meeting influencers with both large and small followings to keep his candidacy afloat.