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2020 Presidential Candidates at a Glance

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Although we are still one year away from the 2020 presidential election on November 3rd, the primary elections are held on February 11 in New Hampshire. Primary elections determine who will run within each party in the general election. There are two types of primaries: open and closed. In closed primaries, voters must declare which party they support and can only vote within that party’s primary. In open primaries, like here in New Hampshire, voters are not required to be affiliated with a political party in order to select a candidate. 

With the primary election steadily approaching, it’s important to get to know who’s running. Especially for the Bedford High School seniors who are becoming voting adults, it is important for American democracy to have active, registered voters. As of now, there are a total of twenty-one candidates with eighteen Democrats and three Republicans, including the current president, Donald Trump. Here are the notable names:

Michael Bennet, 54 (D)
  • senator from Colorado 
  • “Let’s build opportunity for every American and restore integrity to our government.”
  • a moderate Democrat known for seeking compromise
  • a strong ally of former President Barack Obama
  • best known for being a part of the Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group that created an immigration reform bill in 2013
  • focuses on modernizing the economy in artificial intelligence and increasing infrastructure spending

Joseph Biden, 77 (D)

  • former vice president to Obama; former senator from Delaware
  • “Our future cannot depend on the government alone. The ultimate solutions lie in the attitudes and actions of the American people.”
  • known for his down-to-earth personality and his connection to working-class voters
  • focusing on restoring America’s stance globally, strengthening economic protections for low-income workers in industries such as manufacturing and fast food

Michael R. Bloomberg, 77 (D)

  • billionaire media executive, former mayor of New York City
  • “We will rebuild, renew and remain the capital of the free world.”
  • re-registered as a Democrat in October, two decades after he left the party to run for mayor as a Republican
  • a prominent voice for gun control and climate change but has a more conservative view on taxes

Corey Booker, 50 (D)

  • senator from New Jersey; former mayor of Newark
  • “We don’t always have to agree, but we must empower each other, we must find the common ground, we must build bridges across our differences to pursue the common good.”
  • pursues ideals of love, unity, and equality
  • focuses on reversing mass incarceration with a clemency initiative, increasing affordable housing with tax credits, and closing the racial wealth gap with his baby bonds proposal

Steve Bullock, 53 (D)

  • governor of Montana; former state attorney general
  • “I want to make sure that ours is a party that is focusing on both middle-class issues, and not becoming a party of our two coasts.”
  • is in favor of a ban on assault weapons
  • focuses on the importance of early childhood education and policies on reducing economic inequality

Pete Buttigieg, 37 (D)

  • mayor of South Bend, Indiana; military veteran
  • “Greatness will come by looking forward – untethered from the politics of the past and anchored by our shared values – and by changing our nation’s future.”
  • youngest candidate 
  • first to introduce increasing the number of seats on the Supreme Court
  • focuses on issues such as climate change and economic opportunity

Julian Castro, 45 (D)

  • former housing secretary; former mayor of San Antonio
  • “In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay.”
  • was the youngest member of Obama’s cabinet in which he helped minorities gain rights to fair housing, aided communities struck by natural disasters, and launched a connective program among young people across the nation
  • focuses on issues dealing with the immigration system and education policies like universal pre-K

John Delaney, 56 (D)

  • former congressman from Maryland; former businessman
  • “I’m immensely proud to be a Democrat because of our party’s history of fighting for justice, fairness, and equality.”
  • supports preserving the Affordable Healthcare Act, wants to invest in border security infrastructure, and for the US to join the Paris Climate Accords

Tulsi Gabbard, 38 (D)

  • congresswoman from Hawaii; Army National Guard veteran
  • “We need to stop judging individuals based on their race, profession, gender, religion, or anything other than their own individual behavior and character.”
  • plans to meet with Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, who has been accused of using chemical weapons against civilians
  • opposition to American military intervention overseas

Kamala Harris, 55 (D)

  • senator from California; former attorney general of California; former San Francisco district attorney
  • “What’s important for my daughter to know is that… if you are fortunate to have opportunity, it is your duty to make sure other people have those opportunities as well.”
  • supports healthcare for all, affordable housing, boosting teacher pay, banning assault weapons

Amy Klobuchar, 59 (D)

  • senator from Minnesota; former Hennepin County, Minn., attorney
  • “You need to be willing to expand your ground. There’s always usually a place on issues where you can find common ground.”
  • called for Democrats to focus on reclaiming the swing states in the middle of the country
  • is known for her pragmatism and effective legislating
  • focuses on combating the opioid and drug epidemic, supporting equality for all

Deval Patrick, 63 (D) 

  • former governor of Massachusetts; executive at Bain Capital, the private equity firm
  • “For too long, Democrats have been telling people what they want to hear. I’m going to tell you what I believe.”
  • envisions a campaign centered on bringing people together and healing the country as a whole
  • focuses on economic and technology development 

Bernie Sanders, 78 (D)

  • senator from Vermont; former congressman
  • “It is time we had democratic socialism for working families, not just Wall Street billionaires.”
  • was the runner-up in the 2016 Democratic primary
  • democratic socialist who has proposals like Medicare for all and tuition-free public college

Joe Sestak, 67 (D)

  • former congressman from Pennsylvania; former Navy admiral
  • “Our country desperately needs a president with a depth of global experience and an understanding of all the elements of our nation’s power.”
  • focuses on pressing issues like climate change and restoring America on a global level

Tom Steyer, 62 (D)

  • billionaire former hedge fund executive; climate change and impeachment activist
  • “Donald Trump may be unusually flamboyant, but his views are all too representative of the party that is about to nominate him for president.”
  • focuses on fighting climate change by promoting renewable energy resources

Elizabeth Warren, 70 (D)

  • senator from Massachusetts; former Harvard professor
  • “What I’ve learned is that real change is very, very hard. But I’ve also learned that change is possible – if you fight for it.”
  • feels the need for big structural change
  • has released a series of plans to reshape the economy
  • focuses on fixing income inequality 

Marianne Williamson, 67 (D)

  • self-help author, new age lecturer
  • “We need a moral and spiritual awakening in the country. … Nothing short of that is adequate to fundamentally change the patterns of our political dysfunction.”
  • a well-known author who has published a variety of books concerning self-help and spirituality
  • founded a charity that supplies meals to people with extreme illness
  • focuses on economic justice, fighting climate change, and paying historic debts to African Americans and Native Americans

Andrew Yang, 44 (D)

  • Former tech executive who founded an economic development nonprofit
  • “Not left, not right, but forward.”
  • was named a Champion of Change in 2012 and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015
  • focuses on freedom dividend, medicare for all, human capitalism, and climate change

Donald J. Trump, 73 (R)

  • 45th U.S. president; real estate developer; reality television star
  • “No dream is too big. No challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach.”
  • main accomplishment as president: tax cut that has benefited corporations and wealthy investors
  • has focused on getting rid of policies under the Obama administration such as Obamacare, environmental & immigration regulations
  • has centered on building a wall at the Mexican border, trade war with China, withdrawing American troops from overseas

Joe Walsh, 57 (R)

  • conservative radio show host; former congressman from Illinois
  • “We’ve got a guy in the White House who is unfit, completely unfit, to be president and it stuns me that nobody stepped up.”
  • supported Trump during the 2016 election but since then, has broken ties
  • focuses on reducing national debt, restraining executive power, and securing the border

Bill F. Weld, 74 (R)

  • former governor of Massachusetts; former federal prosecutor
  • “Liberals often don’t see the problems, and conservatives don’t see the promise, of government.”
  • a voice for moderates and mainstream conservatives
  • unlike far rights, he supports pro-choice, the LGBT community, and addresses that climate change is a pressing issue
  • focuses on free trade and moderate immigration reform
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