If it seems like one day you woke up and suddenly every Democrat everywhere was announcing their run for 2020 and you had no idea who half of them were, you’re not alone. The wide field of candidates is a little intimidating, but here I try to break it down for you so that if you’ll be voting for the first time in a national election like me, you feel a little more prepared to pick your candidate.
Starting off our list, we have…
1. Senator Kamala Harris
Photo Credit: nymag.com
On January 21, 2019, Kamala Harris announced her run for the presidency. Kamala Harris has been serving as a senator from California since 2017, but prior to that, she served as deputy DA, head DA, and AG of California as well. Harris comes from a civil rights activist family and this is a large part of her political decisions as well. She is pro-choice and supports funding for family-planning clinics. However, her biggest focus lies in reforming the criminal justice system to try to rehabilitate, not incarcerate, non-violent criminals.
Followed by another well-known senator:
2. Senator Cory Booker
Photo Credit: the74million.org
On February 1st, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey announced his candidacy for 2020. After graduating from Yale Law School he began a legal nonprofit for low-income families in Newark before being elected to city council at 29 and subsequently being elected mayor. Booker’s focuses concern alleviating poverty, expanding affordable access healthcare coverage, raising the minimum wage, and pushing for racial equality.
Next up is someone very new, who I had never heard of but sounds promising…
3. Representative Tulsi Gabbard
Photo Credit: twitter.com
A Representative hailing from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard announced her run for the presidency on January 24th, 2019. Gabbard was the first Hindu to be elected to Congress, as well as was a member of the Hawaiian Army National Guard, serving overseas in Iraq and Kuwait. As a fairly new and relatively unknown candidate, a lot of her positions are not yet known. But we do know that she is pro-choice and backs funding for family planning clinics. Gabbard is also a firm supporter of small businesses over large corporations and supports raising the minimum wage and reducing defense spending. As for taxes, she favors an income tax increase on the wealthy 1%.
And of course, a shoutout to Texas with…
4. Julian Castro
Photo Credit: USA Today
A former mayor hailing from the West Side of San Antonio, Texas (#gospursgo), Castro was also appointed under Obama to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Touted as a rising star within the Democratic Party, he became the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at the DNC. Castro is known for being a longtime supporter of LGBT rights and arguing for ankle monitors rather than detention for illegal immigrants awaiting trial. His biggest success though comes from having started a ballot initiative to improve quality of education for preschoolers in San Antonio (Pre-K for SA) that is widely popular within the city. As president, Castro has said he would try to implement “universal Pre-K for SA” around the nation in attempts to improve public education.
Followed by another quality female candidate (go girl power!)…
5. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Photo Credit: The New Yorker
Elected to the Senate seat for New York after the departure of Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand has also previously clerked for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, practiced private law in NYC, as well as served in the House of Representatives in 2007. Gillibrand is known for her #MeToo advocacy from the beginnings of the movement and intends to highlight gender inequality as an important part of her 2020 run. She has also proposed the FAMILY Act, which would create 12-week paid leave for new parents, mother or father.
This next candidate just officially announced but may arguably be the most well-known…
6. Senator Elizabeth Warren
Photo Credit: Vox
The longtime senator from Massachusetts and arguably the most well-known and established current candidate, Elizabeth Warren announced her run for the presidency this past Saturday, February 9th. Prior to beginning her political career, Warren was a public school teacher and later a law professor at Harvard, Penn, and the University of Houston. Though she began with Republican roots, after entering politics Warren has become known for her staunch pro-choice stance and being harsh on banks and large corporations for monopolizing the economy. Despite frequent comparisons to Hillary Clinton, Warren stands on her own as a strong feminist supporter and avid advocate for the American middle-class.
Not forgetting the mayor with major popularity in his home region…
7. Pete Buttigieg
Photo Credit: wikipedia.org
The current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg is a fairly unknown candidate with good credentials. He graduated from Harvard and became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford; he is also a Naval Reserve veteran, and the youngest mayor elected to a town over 100,000. If elected, Buttigieg would be the first openly gay President. The main points of his campaign so far attribute to his age, making him able to relate better to the rising millennial generation as well as bringing in a “fresh start” for Washington.
And last but certainly not least…
8. Representative John Delaney
Photo Credit: newsmax.com
To garner popularity, Senator John Delaney of Maryland was the first person to announce his campaign all the way back in July 2017. He earned his degrees at Columbia and Georgetown respectively and he has launched two companies on the NYSE. A socially liberal but fiscally moderate candidate, Delaney believes in universal healthcare but not “Medicare for All." He also has spoken about a need to increase border security, however, he believes this must be done in conjecture with immigration reform. Delaney’s biggest focus throughout his entire political career and of his presidential campaign comes from his desire for investment in infrastructure.
Hopefully after reading this, you now feel a little more ready to pay attention to 2020. After all, one of these candidates could be the future Mr./Madam President.