By Duane Paul Murphy
The 2020 presidential primaries and the overall race to defeat President Trump are getting larger as additional candidates officially announced their candidacies. So far, almost twenty Democrats have declared their candidacy, and one former Republican governor has declared a formal exploratory committee. From federal house representatives and senators to city mayors and business people, here is the rundown of who wants to become president.
Six senators are running for the presidency: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, California Senator Kamala Harris, and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. Sanders, aged 77 years old, and Gravel, aged 88 years old, are the oldest candidates running for the presidency. Both candidates are running on progressive policy positions such as universal healthcare, labor unionization rights, and less militaristic intervention overseas. Because of progressive candidates like Sanders, candidates such as Gillibrand, Booker, and Harris are also running on a platform that includes universal healthcare and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, alongside criminal justice reform, campaign finance reform, and reparations for the descendents of slavery.
Congressional representatives running include former Maryland Congressman John Delaney, former Texas Congressman, Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, and California Congressman Eric Swalwell. Delaney, back in 2017, became the first major candidate to announce his presidential candidacy before other notable figures within the party. Gabbard, if elected, would become the second person from Hawaii to become president after Barack Obama and the first Hindu and Pacific Islander woman president ever elected in U.S. history. Swalwell’s candidacy focuses on gun control, while Ryan’s and Delaney’s candidacies remain central towards issues relating to working class and middle class individuals.
When it comes to governors, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper leans into moderate politics to counter off the Democrats’ progressive liberal factions. Meanwhile, Washington Governor Jay Inslee is running on a pro-environment platform with supporting the Green New Deal to combat environmental issues and economic inequalities.
The presidential run for urban mayors is beginning to gain momentum. Among them are South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam. If Castro is elected, he would become the country’s first Latin American President. If Buttigieg is elected, he would become the country’s first openly gay president. If Messam is elected, he would become the country’s second African American president after Obama.
Business people are also gaining some notoriety. New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang is running on a progressive, technological-centered policy platform including a universal basic income program, universal healthcare, free marriage counseling, and the Green New Deal. If elected, Yang would become the country’s first Asian American president. New Age spiritual author Marianne Williamson is also running for president advocating for racial reconciliation and reparations for slavery.
On the Republican Party side of the presidential primaries, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld formed an exploratory committee in February 2019 to run against President Trump. Weld is considered fiscally conservative when it comes to deregulation and tax cuts, and socially liberal when it comes LGBTQ rights, abortion, and cannabis legalization. Potential Republican candidates include Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, former Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, and former Ohio Governor John Kasich.
As for nonpartisan independent and third party candidates, some have declared candidacy and others have publicly stated interests in running. On the nonpartisan independent side, billionaires Howard Schultz and Mark Cuban, who are self-described moderate centrists, have publicly expressed interest in potential bids. For the classical liberal Libertarian Party, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash has expressed interest in running as an anti-Trump libertarian Republican. For the leftist Green Party, co-founder Howie Hawkins and Youngstown, New Jersey Board of Education member Dario “Yisroel” David Hunter have officially declared their candidacies while former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura hinted at bidding for a nomination.
The first set of debates for the 2020 presidential primaries will start in late June 2019. The Iowa Caucus will be held on February 3rd, 2020.