2020 Election Candidates Announce Their Campaigns

Candidates running in the 2020 Presidential election are beginning to formally announce their campaigns. So far, eight candidates have launched exploratory committees, but there is a lot of speculation about other potential candidates who may join the race, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and John Hickenlooper.

Senator Kamala Harris of California announced her decision to run during an interview on ABC News. On Sunday, January 29, Harris held a rally outside of Oakland City Hall to describe her plans for the election. Harris was the former attorney general of California and is the first South Asian-American senator in United States history.

Elizabeth Warren, a two-term senator from Massachusetts, announced that she would “take a hard look” at launching a campaign bid in late September. Warren previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard law schools. Warren has already focused on issues like decreasing income inequality and political corruption.

Pete Buttigieg, currently the mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana, launched a presidential exploratory committee on January 23. If elected, Buttigieg would be America’s first openly gay president. Buttigieg has primarily focused on the need to address climate change and increase economic opportunity.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand declared her decision to launch an exploratory committee for her candidacy on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on January 15. As a New York State senator, Gillibrand has been involved in the effort to repeal the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. She wrote the STOCK Act and created a bi-partisan bill on gun control. Gillibrand aims to rebuild the United States economy and has placed gender equality at the forefront of her campaign.

Julián Castro served in President Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and as mayor of San Antonio, Texas. Castro announced his candidacy on January 12 at the Plaza Guadalupe amphitheater in San Antonio. Castro has advocated for universal prekindergarten, immigration reform, universal health care, and a higher national minimum wage. Castro has also announced that his first executive order, if elected as President, would be to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

John Delaney announced his bid in July of 2017 and has been campaigning ever since. Delaney has a background in business and has served as a representative from Maryland. Delaney, known as a more moderate Democrat, endorses universal healthcare.

Tulsi Gabbard, a representative from Hawaii and an Army National Guard Veteran, has previously drawn attention for anti-gay statements and for her work with an anti-gay advocacy group. She has announced her opposition to American military intervention overseas and has also been a strong advocate for reforming the criminal justice system.

Andrew Yang founded Venture for America, a nonprofit that focuses on economic development, and has a background in the technology industry. Yang announced his bid for presidency on November 6, 2017. Yang is a strong advocate of a universal basic income of $1,000 a month, which he believes will revolutionize America by creating more opportunities and increasing equality. If elected, Yang would be the first Asian American to ever serve as President.

Marianne Williamson has no formal background in politics but has published various self-help books and articles. Williamson formally announced her candidacy on January 28 at the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles. She ran for Congress as in Independent in 2016 for the 33rd District of California, but ultimately lost to Elan Carr and Ted Lieu. She has advocated for the rights of gay men with AIDS, including their right to marriage, and has also founded a charity that provides food to people with critical illnesses. Williamson has proposed giving $100 billion in reparations for slavery,

Cory Booker, a senator from New Jersey and the former mayor of Newark announced his campaign on the first day of Black History Month, February 1, as a tribute to his African-American heritage. His campaign focuses on unifying Americans and finding a  “common purpose,” however, as a senator he has primarily focused on reforming the criminal justice system.

While most of the candidates that have announced their campaigns so far are running as Democrats, the field is the most diverse in history. Multiple women and candidates of varying ethnicities are running in 2020, many of whom would be the first of their demographic to be elected to the Oval Office.