As of March 21st, 2019, there are 18 candidates running for president in the 2020 election bid. As voters and citizens under the future Commander-In-Chief of our nation, it is important to understand who is running. One of the most common reasons why U.S. citizens were not involved in the voting process in 2016 was the large amount of the candidates and their agendas faced issues with the public.
With 18 candidates so far, it can be difficult to conclude which candidate values your beliefs and political opinions. Especially since every candidate varies based off of what political party they belong to, their professional background, personality and much more. After gathering information on each candidate, there is now a condensed explanation of what you need to know to make a decision or learn on your options for Election Day in November of 2020.
(For more information on a candidate, check out their link to their campaign website after each profile on their platform and plans for his/her’s presidency.)
Democratic Candidates Currently Running (As of 3/21/2019):
Cory Booker (D): U.S. Senator of New Jersey, Cory Booker was originally mayor of his hometown Newark as well. He has served as a senator since 2013. Booker launched his campaign on February 1st, 2019. Booker has been widely favored by the current public as one of the top contenders for the Democratic race. Booker’s beliefs consist of criminal reform and evaluation on our judiciary system. He is pro-legalization of marijuana and recently endorsed the Medicare for All program and focusing on a universal healthcare system for children.
Pete Buttigieg (D): Mayor of South Bend, Indiana; Pete Buttigieg is an openly gay mayor and announced his campaign with an exploratory committee on January 23rd, 2019. His agenda focuses on connecting more with international economy as well as increase marketing in industry, technology and higher education. Prior to his political service, Buttigieg also served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve along with a previous seven-month deployment in Afghanistan.
Julian Castro: Julian Castro announced his campaign on January 12th, 2019. Castro had previously served as Secretary of Urban Housing and Development under Obama’s presidency. He had also served as mayor of San Antonio for five years. Castro highlighted the importance of education. He plans to implement a universal pre-school system, a foundation which he put into action in San Antonio as mayor. He is a supporter in the Medicare for All program.
John Delaney (D): John Delaney is a former U.S. House of Representative for 6 years from 2013-2019. While not high in the playing field, Delaney was the first Democratic candidate to declare his campaign for presidency back in July 28, 2017. Delaney’s primary goal within his campaign is to focus on the hazards on automation and the extreme advancement of technology that impact the economy. Delaney plans to achieve unionization between the two parties and draft within his first 100 days bipartisan proposals that can work for the House and Senate. Delaney has business experience within two New York Stock Exchange companies as well as influence with non-profit organizations.
Tulsi Gabbard (D): A U.S. House of Representative from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard announced her campaign in January 11th, 2019. Gabbard enforces a non-interventionist foreign policy. Given her military service in the Iraq War, she explains that her methods on counterterrorism will be compared to the hunt of a “hawk”. Whereas her stance on counterproductive wars of regime change, will be of a “dove.” In 2012, her previous experience in politics was historical as she became the first Hindu elect from Congress. Gabbard also served in the Hawaii House of Representatives along with Hawaii City Council. Gabbard had been deployed for two tours in the Middle East in her military service.
Kirsten Gillibrand (D): A U.S. Senator of New York, Kirsten Gillibrand launched an exploratory committee on January 15, 2019. Gillibrand officially declared to run for president on March 17, 2019. Gillibrand’s agenda focuses on domestic economic and social reform. Her campaign addresses issues like sexual assault within the military, healthcare and incentives for 9/11 first responders and political transparency between the people and elected officials. Gillibrand is also a supporter of the Medicare for All program as well as a Universal Paid Family Leave in the job environment.
Kamala Harris (D): A U.S. Senator of California. Kamala Harris declared to run for president on January 21, 2019. Harris includes economic reforms such as universal pre-schooling. She is a avid supporter on the concept of debt-free college education. Harris supports tax cuts on working to middle class citizens of up to $500 a month. Harris is also a supporter of the Medicare for All program. Her prior service included her time as Attorney General from 2011 to 2017 for the state of California. Prior to her state service, she worked as a district attorney for the city of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011.
John Hickenlooper (D): As a former governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper announced his race for the presidency on March 4, 2019. Hickenlooper focuses on his prior accomplishments as governor. He had legislated methane emission laws while working with environmentalists and oil companies to reduce emissions. Hickenlooper also made Medicaid more accessible within his state. He is a strong supporter of gun reform and implemented his own in his state by limiting the amount of magazines sold per person and pushed for more background checks. Hickenlooper believes he is a worthy opponent to current 45th president, Donald J. Trump while still able to gain bipartisan support. Before his service as governor, Hickenlooper served as mayor of Denver for almost 8 years while also opening establishments such as 15 pubs and restaurants in several states.
Jay Inslee (D): The current governor of Washington, Jay Inslee announced his campaign on March 1st, 2019. Inslee is an avid supporter towards climate change. His main campaign platform revolves around green initiatives that can tackle climate change. Inslee proposed developing companies and industries to solve this issue such as manufacturing more electric cars, producing more wind turbines and establishing solar power plants across the country. Before his term as governor, Inslee was a member of Washington’s House of Representatives. In 1992, he was elected to serve in Congress as a house representative till 2012.
Amy Klobuchar (D): Currently serving as Senator of Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar declared to run for president on February 10, 2019. Klobuchar’s main campaign goals are to establish automatic voter registration for U.S. Citizens. She is against the amount of money spent within the political realm and promises to reduce the amount of funding that politicians withhold. Klobuchar plans to challenge current 45th president, Donald J. Trump by reinstating the climate change legislations that were eliminated by his administration. Before her service as Senator, she worked as a partner of two law firms of Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Mooty.
Wayne Messam (D): Current mayor of Miramar, Florida, Wayne Messam launched an exploratory committee on to run for president on March 13, 2019 and officially declared to run on March 28, 2019. Messam’s main policy that he focuses on is eliminating the student debt. Messam plans to eliminate $1.5 trillion in accumulated student debt across the country (referenced by his aide according to essence.com) He has been serving as mayor of Miramar since 2015 with over 150,000 residents. Messam was also elected previously under the City of Miramar as a commissioner in March of 2011. Messam believes although the turn from being a mayor to president is a huge leap, he directs voters that his policies are worthy of being presidential.
Beto O’Rourke (D): Former U.S. representative of Texas, Beto O’Rourke declared his race for the presidency on March 14, 2019. O’Rourke believes in the value of hard work as a foundation of his campaign. He supports the instating universal healthcare. O’Rourke has also pressed issues of climate change. He is also pro-loose immigration legislation. O’Rourke had served in the House from 2013 to 2019 yet lost in an extremely close race against Ted Cruz in a U.S. Senate race of 2018. O’Rourke served before his congressional terms on the El Paso City Council in 2005 to 2011.
Elizabeth Warren (D): U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren launched an exploratory committee on December 31, 2019. She then officially declared to run for president on February 9, 2019. Warren’s campaign highlights economic reform, most controversially known for her wealth tax. The tax itself would hit 75,000 of the wealthiest families in the country. This tax would fund her other campaign projects such as universal childcare, the Green New Deal and student loan debt relief. Warren is also a supporter of the Medicare for All program. Warren has a wide variety of professional experience both in government and private experience. Before her service in the Senate, she also served under the Obama administration as establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.. Before her federal service, she worked academically as a law professor for thirty years at numerous universities including Harvard University.
Marianne Williamson (D): An author who has appeared on numerous major talk shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” or “Good Morning America”, Marianne Williamson declared to run for presidency on January 28, 2019. Williamson proposes to implement a “moral and spiritual awakening” in her campaign. She is a supporter of many democratic legislation and promises to revitalize the Democratic Party. Williamson is also in support of the Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. She also supports $100 billion in reparations for slavery. Williamson’s foreign policy wants to lean towards more acquiring peace efforts and finding middle ground with our nation’s neighbors to the East. Prior to her success, she ran to represent the 33rd Congressional District of California as an independent in 2014.
Andrew Yang (D): A businessman with an extravagant idea, Andrew Yang declared to run for president.Yang’s campaign platform focuses on his major concept that is practiced in certain countries, the Universal Basic Income (UBI). The UBI would guarantee that every citizen over the age of 18 would receive $1000 every month for every year, “no strings attached”. Yang believes if every US citizen were to receive $1000 a month, household expenditures can be purchased more such as paying for bills and buying more goods which would increase spending in the economy. He also is anti-automation in industries and promises to tax heavily on companies that depend on automation which is where the UBI’s funding would come from. Before his declaration on running for office, Yang founded a nonprofit organization called Venture for America, a network that trains new graduates to become employees in startup companies all over America. He was also employed in a healthcare startup, created a national education company and a worked as a corporate attorney.
Independent Candidates Currently Running for President (As of 3/28/2019):
Bernie Sanders (I): The U.S. Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders initially ran for president during the 2016 election. He declared to re-run for office on February 19, 2019. Sanders is open about being affiliated with socialist reformations. He is a supporter of the Medicare for All program, the Green New Deal and a $15 minimum wage. Sanders also believes in increasing the estate tax against the wealthy while limiting the size of banks. Finally, he supports the legalization of recreational marijuana and tuition-free college. Before his service, he taught as a professor at Hamilton College in New York and even Harvard University. He also was a mayor of Burlington Vermont in 1981 to 1989 and serving as a congressman for his district from 1991 to 2007.
Republican Candidates Currently Running (As of 3/28/2019)
Donald J. Trump (R): The current 45th U.S. President, Donald Trump declared for re-election the same day he assumed office on January 20, 2017. His “America First” platform reflects on foreign and domestic affairs. His main agenda is immigration reform and the funding of a massive impenetrable wall on our southern border. Trump has appointed two new U.S. Supreme Court justices, withdrew the U.S. out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and made possible to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Before his current service, Trump was a television celebrity on the hit show, “The Apprentice” and a real estate developer in the private sector.
Bill Weld (R): The former governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld launched an exploratory committee on February 15, 2019. Weld influences himself as a challenge against Trump with disagreeing with most of his policies and his attitude. He states that the president focuses too much on solutions that create division than ones that are more pressing. Weld is a big opponent against national overspending and worried of the job loss made by automation in the future. Weld was a U.S. attorney for the state of Massachusetts and also became assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s criminal unit. Prior to his law experience, he served as the governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997. Since then, he has re-entered his private law practice.
(All information on each candidate is gathered through each of their own respective website and www.ballotpedia.org.)