Intro to the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

The 2020 presidential election is months away from happening, but dozens of candidates have already announced their plans on running for the coveted title of becoming the President of the United States. With over a dozen Democrats having announced to this day, it is hard for many to keep track of who everyone is and what their stances on policies are. To help keep you informed on who's running I have created an introduction guide of all the democratic candidates to teach you who they are and what they stand for. 

Elizabeth Warren 

Warren was one of the first to announce her bid for presidency, announcing on February 9th. She has been the senator from Massachusetts since 2013. Warren’s signature issues revolve around inequality and making sure the middle class is not deprived or diminished of anything. She has proposed an “ultra-millionaire tax"  on people worth more than $50 million and a major overhaul of housing policies. 

Cory Booker

Booker is Senator of New York and former mayor of Newark. As one of the leaders in the Senate his campaign, in the Senate and for the presidency, is focused on criminal justice reform, but his appeal would most likely center on his call to unify the country.

Pete Buttigieg 

The Southbend, Indiana mayor, is one of the first openly gay politicians to run for president, he is also an Afghan War veteran. Buttigieg has stressed his generational identity and called for policies on issues like climate change and economic opportunity. He is also known for taking a religious stance on his life and issues to show that Democrats can be just as religious as conservatives. 

Julián Castro 

Castro was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, before serving as secretary of housing and urban development under Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017. During his campaign, he has utilized his Hispanic-immigrant roots and emphasized a platform of universal pre-kindergarten, “Medicare for all” and immigration reform.

Amy Klobuchar 

Klobuchar is a senator from Minnesota that can clearly show that a snow storm will not stop her from bringing change to our country. She is also known for her stern qustioning of Brett M. Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing. Issues she's focused on are championing legislation to combat the opioid crisis, drug addiction and addressing the cost of prescription drugs. She's also talked vaguely about middle-class issues. 

Kamala Harris

Harris, a first-term senator from California, was elected in 2016 and was previously the state’s attorney general. During her time in the Senate, she unveiled middle-class tax cut legislation last fall, has championed a liberal civil rights agenda and will likely continue to fight for this during her presidential campaign. 

Beto O'Rourke

O'Rourke is the former U.S. representative from El Paso and Democratic candidate for Senate in Texas. O'Rourke is most recently known for his close battle for Senate in Texas against Ted Cruz and is now making a name for himself as he hops on counters one state county at a time. Unlike other candidates, he has used mainstream media to get his statements on issues across. He has delivered a message of national unity and red-state liberalism via constant social media livestreaming to voters inside and outside Texas. His campaign is focused on immigration reform, marijuana legalization and rural hospital access.

John Delaney 

The former businessman and congressman of Maryland was very eager to run for the presidency, as he was the first to announce back in June 2017. He has singled himself out by pitching himself as a bipartisan problem-solver but has also endorsed liberal causes like universal health care. 

Bernie Sanders

The Senator of Vermont is back at it again with another run at the presidency. Sanders ran in the 2016 election, losing in the primaries to Hilary Clinton, but that did not stop him from running a second time. Sanders is most known for his extreme left views and has described himself as a democratic socailist. Similar to the last election, Sanders campaign is focused on “Medicare for all,” free college tuition and curtailing the influence of, as he calls them, “the billionaires.”

Kirsten Gillibrand 

Gillibrand has been a senator from New York since 2009 when she replaced Hillary Clinton. Before that, she also served as a congresswoman for New York. In her earlier political years, she was once seen as a conservative Democrat but has since become one of the Senate's leading liberal voices. Gillibrand has emphasized women’s issues and has placed women’s equality and opportunity at the center of her policy agenda, ranging from sexual harassment in the military and more recent #MeToo stories to equal pay. 

Jay Inslee

Inslee is a second-term governor of Washington and was previously in the U.S. House. As governor, the biggest issue he wants to combat is climate change and will most likely be his center point in his presidential campaign. He has been campaigning widely in the midterm elections on a message of creating renewable energy jobs.

Tulsi Gabbard 

Gabbard is a congresswoman from Hawaii and is also an Army National Guard veteran. In the 2016 primaries she supported Bernie Sanders, however this election season she is coming in as her own person and focused on the opposition to American military intervention overseas, including in countries like Syria.

John Hickenlooper 

Hickenlooper was the governor of Colorado until January, and previously held the most Colorado trifecta of jobs imaginable: the Mayor of Denver, geologist and brewery owner. During his campaign, he has stressed his record of consensus-building around issues like expanding Medicaid, gay rights and gun control.

Wayne Messam

Messam is currently the Mayor of Miramar, Florida. During his campaign and throughout his political career he has taken progressive stances on guns, immigration and environmental issues. Messaam is a first-generation American born to Jamaican parents and is hoping to tap into the Caribbean-American community to help fuel his long-shot bid. College students may grow a liking for him as he proposed canceling the more than $1.5 trillion in student debt owed by 44 million Americans.

Tim Ryan

Ryan is a member of the House, representing Youngstown and Akron. Some of the major issues Ryan is concerned about is renegotiating or enforcing trade deals, punishing Chinese currency manipulation, unions rights and workforce development. He has positioned himself as a voice for blue-collar voters in the Midwest. Ryan has also shown that people's beliefs can change, after being a strong opponent of abortion rights, in 2015 he announced he considered abortion a “personal choice.”

Eric Swalwell 

Swalwell is a U.S. representative from California’s Bay Area. His campaign is strongly focused on gun control, along with this he has stressed his experience as a prosecutor to investigate the Trump administration and proposed funding for innovation in medical research. Swalwell also thinks with young age he will be able to provide “new energy and new ideas and a new confidence to do that.”

Marianne Williamson

Williamson is unlike the others in the sense that she is not a politician, she is a self-help author and new age lecturer. Although this is her first time running for presidency this isn't her first time running for a political position, she ran for Congress as an independent in 2014 and lost. While on her campaign she has proposed $100 billion in reparations for slavery, with $10 billion to be distributed annually over a decade for economic and education projects. Williamson claims, “My campaign for the presidency is dedicated to this search for higher wisdom.”

Andrew Yang

Similar to Williamson, Yang isn't a typical politician and is a former tech executive who founded an economic development nonprofit. He created the test-preparation company Manhattan Prep and then Venture for America, which tries to incubate start-ups outside New York and the Bay Area. Yang's signature issue he's focused on is establishing a universal basic income of $1,000 per month for all Americans.

Joe Biden is also a key candidate to look out for even though he has never officially announced that he will be running, he has led all approval ratings so far. Although all 18 of these candidates will not all make it to the primaries, it's good to have a little information on who to vote for before the time comes. Those who end up backing out may end up endorsing others, so it's always a smart idea to keep track of who's for and against certain policies and issues. 

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18