The year 2020 may seem like a long time from now, but it’s not when you’re considering a run for the President of the United States. That’s why we’re keeping a close eye on who’s throwing their name into the hat to challenge President Trump for the job of POTUS. Who’s announced, who’s formed an exploratory committee (a group that is formed to explore the idea of whether or not a potential candidate should run for an elected office), and who are some possible candidates? Check out what we know so far:
Current Position: US Senator of Massachusetts
Senator Warren is considered a liberal Democrat who has openly criticized President Trump for his name-calling and bullying. She wants to end corruption, help the middle class, and save democracy. Last December, Senator Warren announced that she had formed an official exploratory committee which will allow her to raise money and hire staff before she formally announces her bid to run for President of the United States.
Interesting Fact: When Senator Warren won the US Senate race in 2012, she became the first female US Senator of Massachusetts.
Former Positions: San Antonio Mayor and US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
At just thirty years old, Julián Castro became the Mayor of San Antonio, Texas. Nine years later, he joined former President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. At thirty-nine years old, he was the youngest member of former President Obama’s cabinet. Earlier this week, Mr. Castro officially announced his presidential bid for 2020. What’s his message? That “we must work together to build an America where everyone—no matter who we are or where we came from—can thrive.”
Interesting Fact: He’s a twin! Julián’s twin brother is Congressman Joaquín Castro!
Current Position: US Representative of Hawaii
Tulsi Gabbard currently represents the state of Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district in the US House of Representatives. She formally announced her 2020 US presidential bid earlier this month and focused her message on issues of war and peace, health care, climate change, and criminal justice reform. She started her political career strongly opposing same-sex marriage, but has since changed her mind and now supports it.
Interesting Facts: She is the first American Samoan and Hindu member of Congress, and she served in Iraq as a member of Hawaii’s National Guard.
Former Position: US Representative of Maryland
Representative John Delaney was a lawyer and entrepreneur before becoming a US Congressman. He represented Maryland’s 6th congressional district from 2013 until earlier this year. He announced his bid for presidency in 2017. What will he be fighting for? Unity, security, better jobs, and justice.
Interesting Fact: Representative Delaney announced his bid for presidency in July 2017, making him the first person to announce his bid for the 2020 presidential race.
Current Position: US Senator of New York
She’s an attorney and served in Congress since 2007. She is currently the US Senator from New York and has held that position since 2009. She announced that she had officially formed an exploratory committee earlier this week. What does she care about? Health care, education, and jobs.
Interesting Fact: Senator Gillibrand went to Dartmouth College and majored in Asian studies. While she was there, she learned how to speak and write Chinese.
Current Position: Entrepreneur
He’s an entrepreneur who founded Venture for America, an organization that creates jobs in cities. He announced his bid for presidency in November 2017 and believes that universal basic income ($1,000/month for every American adult) is the answer to the job creation crisis in the country.
Interesting Facts: Mr. Yang has a degree in economics, political science, and law. He is the only candidate who has announced with no experience in politics.
Richard Ojeda II (Suspended Campaign)
Former Positions: Retired Army Major and West Virginia State Senator
Richard Ojeda II announced his bid for the 2020 presidential race last November. While he doesn’t currently hold a government office, he’s no stranger to politics. He was the West Virginia State Senator from 2016 until earlier this year, and he was a Major in the army before that. Why is he running for POTUS? He wants to fight for the working class, stand with the unions, and end corruption in Washington, DC. When teachers went on strike in West Virginia last year, he was one of the loudest voices in support of the teachers.
Interesting Fact: In 2016, Ojeda backed Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, but he later backed Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. He no longer supports President Trump.
Current Position: US Senator of California
Kamala Harris began her career as an attorney and then served as the District Attorney of San Francisco. In 2010, she ran for the position of California’s Attorney General and won. Six years later, she won the election for US Senator of California, becoming only the third woman to ever hold that position. On Monday, January 21st, the day that the country commemorated Martin Luther King, Jr., Harris announced her 2020 presidential bid. Why did she decide to run? In Harris’ words: “Justice. Decency. Equality. Freedom. Democracy. These aren’t just words. They’re the values we as Americans cherish. And they’re all on the line now … The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values.”
Interesting Fact: Harris is half African-American and half Indian-American. When she was elected Attorney General of California in 2010, she became the first African-American and first Asian-American to ever hold that position in California. Earlier this week when a reporter asked what culture she identified herself as, African-American or Indian-American, she laughed and said, “I describe myself as a proud American.”
Current Position: Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
At thirty-seven, Pete Buttigieg is currently the youngest person to announce his intentions of running for President of the United States. He’s a small-town mayor, but his résumé is anything but. He went to Harvard University, was a Rhodes Scholar (an award given to very select students to study at Oxford University), fought in the Afghanistan War, and was elected Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, at the age of twenty-nine. What makes him stand out from the crowd of presidential candidates? He says, “Right now our country needs a fresh start,” and that at thirty-seven years old, he’s the right leader for the growing millennial population. If he wins in 2020, he will be the first openly gay President of the United States and the youngest person to ever hold the position of POTUS.
Interesting Fact: When he was elected Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, in 2011 and then sworn into office in 2012, Buttigieg was the youngest mayor of a city with more than 100,000 residents. He was twenty-nine at the time. He was later re-elected in 2015.
Current Position: US Senator of New Jersey
Before Cory Booker became the first African-American US Senator of New Jersey, he was the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, from 2006 to 2013. Born in Washington DC but raised in New Jersey, Mr. Booker later attended Stanford and then Yale for law school. Unlike his fellow Democrats who announced their bid for the presidency on mainstream TV shows, Mr. Booker chose to roll out his announcement, focusing on the African-American and Latino communities, as well as on women. How? He called into a radio station whose primary audience is African-American. He also called into Univision, a popular Latino network and conducted his interview almost entirely in Spanish. Later, he appeared on The View, a daytime talk show whose audience largely consists of women. He believes that “the lines that divide us are nowhere near as strong as the ties that bind us. When we join together and work together—we will rise together.”
Interesting Fact: Booker isn’t just a lawyer and a politician; he’s an athlete too! He was offered a football scholarship to Stanford. While there, he played football and worked towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Sociology.
Current Positions: Author, Lecturer, Activist
Marianne Williamson is the second person without prior political experience to announce a bid for the presidency. Although she has been outspoken about politically-driven topics such as race relations and the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and she even ran for Congress in 2014, she hasn’t held a political office. She announced her presidential bid in late January and says that her “campaign is for people who want to dig deeper into the questions we face as a nation and deeper into finding the answers.”
Interesting Fact: Marianne Williamson has published twelve books, and she counts some of the most well-known celebrities as her fans—Oprah Winfrey considers her a spiritual guru.
Current Position: US Senator of Vermont
At seventy-seven years old, Senator Bernie Sanders is the oldest person to announce his bid for the 2020 presidential race, but he’s also one of the most recognized. You see, he’s no stranger to a presidential run. In 2016, he joined the presidential race as an underdog but surprised even his own party when he gained a legion of supporters and beat Hillary Clinton in many state primaries. His ideas of having Medicare-for-all and raising the national minimum wage to fifteen dollars are no longer considered radical and instead have been supported by several of his fellow Democratic presidential candidates. He believes in a national health care system and in taxing the top earners to pay for federal programs. Within twenty-four hours of his announcement, Senator Sanders raised nearly six million dollars—the most out of any of his fellow presidential candidates so far.
Interesting Fact: Although Bernie Sanders is running as a Democrat and has been one of the leading faces of the Democratic Party, he is in fact an Independent!
Former Position: Governor of Massachusetts
Bill Weld has formed an exploratory committee for a possible 2020 presidential bid. Why is this a big deal? Weld would be running as a Republican and therefore directly competing with President Trump. He said that he hopes “to see the Republican Party assume once again the mantle of being the party of Lincoln. It upsets me that our energies as a society are being sapped by the President’s culture of divisiveness in Washington.” Weld has quite the political resume. He was a two-term Governor of Massachusetts in the 90s, but before he finished his second term, former President Bill Clinton nominated him to be the US Ambassador to Mexico. He resigned as Governor but later withdrew his name from being considered for the ambassador position. He was also Mitt Romney’s co-chair during the 2008 presidential race but later endorsed former President Barack Obama.
Interesting Fact: Although Weld is running as a Republican now, he was chosen by the Libertarian Party in the 2016 presidential election to be the running mate (or vice president) for Gary Johnson.
Current Position: US Senator of Minnesota
Amy Klobuchar was a lawyer before she was elected to be the US Senator of Minnesota in 2006. Although she shares the views of many of her fellow Democratic candidates, she hopes to set herself apart by being practical and realistic, and by setting forth goals that can be accomplished. For example, unlike some of her peers, she says she doesn’t support free four-year colleges for all because she’s not a magic genie. Rather, she plans to make community colleges free and make it easier for students to refinance their loans. And what’s at the top of her to-do list if she’s elected POTUS? To get the United States back into the Paris climate agreement.
Interesting Fact: When Klobuchar was elected to the US Senate in 2006, she became the first woman to ever get elected from the state of Minnesota.
Current Position: Governor of Washington
Jay Inslee is the current governor of Washington and announced that he would be joining the 2020 presidential race. He’s the fourteenth candidate to join the already very large pool of presidential candidates. So how is he planning to stand out from the crowd? He’s focusing his attention on the climate and calling himself “The Climate Candidate.”
Interesting Fact: Governor Inslee previously served in the US House of Representatives as well as in the Washington state House of Representatives.
Former Positions: Mayor of Denver, and Governor of Colorado
John Hickenlooper recently announced his bid for the presidency. He’s both the former Mayor of Denver and former Governor of Colorado, but before that, he was a businessman. He describes himself as a doer and points to his move from business to politics as a reason why he’d be the perfect person to lead the country. After all, he believes that the country needs someone who can build strong teams and bring people together, and he’s done that in his roles as businessman and politician.
Interesting Fact: Before he was a businessman, he was a geologist! Hickenlooper earned a Master’s degree in geology in 1980.
Former Position: US Representative of Texas
Beto O’Rourke, whose full name is Robert Francis O’Rourke, served on the El Paso City Council from 2005 to 2011, and then as US Representative for the 16th Congressional District of Texas from 2013 to 2018. Last year, he ran against Senator Ted Cruz (and former presidential candidate) and narrowly lost to him for the Senate seat. Despite the loss, Mr. O’Rourke’s candid responses to tough and controversial topics, like kneeling during the national anthem, made him a household name. Now he’s running for President of the United States and raised over $6 million within the first twenty-four hours of announcing his candidacy.
Interesting Fact: Beto O’Rourke isn’t just a politician, he’s a musician too. While in college, O’Rourke formed a band called Foss, released an album, and toured the country (and Canada!) during summer break.
Current Position: Mayor of Miramar, Florida
Recently, Wayne Messam, the Mayor of Miramar, Florida, announced that he has formed an exploratory committee for his bid for the 2020 presidency. He is the second mayor to throw his name into the hat. Mayor Messam’s reason for running? He says that “Americans are not getting their needs met.” As a mayor, he believes that he, as well as all of his fellow mayors, “… are at the front line of what Americans are dealing with every day.” Mayor Messam will be focusing his campaign on decreasing student debt and gun control.
Interesting Facts: Mayor Messam served as the mayor of Miramar, Florida, since 2015, but before he was mayor, he was also a businessman and played college football at Florida State University from 1992 to 1996. In 1993, Messam helped his college football team win the national championship—now he wants to be the champion for the American people.
Current Position: US Representative for Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District
In late April, Seth Moulton, who has served as the US Representative for Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District since 2015, announced his bid for the 2020 presidential election. He’s a former Marine Corps officer who believes that America needs a new generation of leaders “who will both unite the country and have the courage to change it.” He believes that “healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” every child should have access to education, and climate change is a problem that needs to be solved.
Interesting Fact: In 2014, Moulton beat nine-term incumbent John Tierney for the position of US Representative of Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District. Political analysts didn’t see it coming since he was down in the polls until the very last minute!
Former Positions: US Senator of Delaware and Vice President of the United States
The former Vice President of the United States entered the 2020 presidential race this week, making him the 20th candidate seeking the people’s vote for president. He made his official announcement via social media but had his first campaign rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earlier this week, where he asked the American people to “choose hope over fear, unity over division, and maybe most importantly, truth over lies.” He has built a reputation as someone who supports the middle class and has openly criticized President Trump about how he’s divided the country.
Interesting Fact: This isn’t the first time Biden has thrown his hat into the presidential race. In fact, this is his third attempt. While it seemed logical to run in 2016, he chose not to. Why? In 2015, his son had passed away from cancer and he was too overcome with grief to run for president.
Who would you like to see run for President of the United States in 2020? Emaileditor@xyzanews.com with your thoughts!