Dennis J. Kucinich left his post as the presidential campaign manager for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and was replaced by Mr. Kennedy’s daughter-in-law, a political neophyte best known for a memoir about her tenure in the C.I.A.
The campaign shake-up comes at a moment of renewed scrutiny on Mr. Kennedy’s campaign. The political scion of one of the most influential families in contemporary American politics announced on Monday that he was ending his Democratic primary challenge to President Biden and would continue his campaign as an independent candidate.
Mr. Kucinich’s departure came a surprise even to Mr. Kennedy’s press secretary, who was informed of it on Friday afternoon by a New York Times reporter. In a subsequent news release, Mr. Kennedy said his campaign had “benefited enormously from the political experience of Dennis Kucinich.” Mr. Kucinich was not quoted in the release.
Mr. Kennedy’s new campaign manager is Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, a former C.I.A. agent, memoirist and documentarian who in 2018 married Mr. Kennedy’s son, Robert F. Kennedy III.
“Amaryllis is a woman of extraordinary intelligence and drive who I am confident will take this campaign to the next level,” Mr. Kennedy said in the news release.
Ms. Kennedy has already been on the campaign payroll, according to the campaign’s financial report covering the three-month period ending Sept. 30, which was filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday.
Ms. Kennedy’s social media is a hodgepodge of condemnations of American support for and involvement in overseas wars along with her critical reporting about the country’s fight to eradicate illegal drugs. She also posted a eulogy of her family’s parrot, Toots. She revealed little about her prior involvement in Mr. Kennedy’s presidential campaign beyond a July Instagram post urging followers to watch a 35-minute speech of his.
Mr. Kucinich, a former Democratic congressman who twice ran for president himself, has been with Mr. Kennedy, a leading vaccine skeptic and purveyor of conspiracy theories, since he began his run for office in April. He introduced Mr. Kennedy at the Philadelphia rally where Mr. Kennedy announced his independent bid.
Mr. Kucinich confirmed in a brief interview on Friday afternoon, before the campaign release came out, that he was no longer Mr. Kennedy’s campaign manager. He said that he would “not discuss any internal communications of the campaign.”
In the message to campaign staff members sent earlier on Friday, Mr. Kucinich praised the work of the “powerful team” that was ready to take the campaign in a “new direction.” He added: “That patriotic goal is within sight, and I urge each of you to hold fast.”