WASHINGTON - The field of 2020 presidential candidates remains crowded, with 11 Democrats currently making a bid for the White House along with two Republicans — one of whom is President Donald Trump.
As campaign season heats up, here's a look at each candidate vying for the highest office in the land:
Michael Bennet has been a U.S. senator from Colorado since 2009, before which he served as superintendent of Denver Public Schools. He also served two years as Chief of Staff to fellow Democratic presidential hopeful, John Hickenlooper, during his time as mayor of Denver.
One of Bennet's main focuses in his campaign is offering a more moderate solution to the healthcare issue, pushing for what he is calling Medicare X. Instead of pushing for single-payer health care like many other democrats in the race, Bennet proposed a bill that would allow consumers to buy into insurance exchanges. He has also proposed a bill called the American Family Act which would reduce poverty among children from about 15 percent to 9.5 percent.
The 47th vice president of the United States has now officially tossed his name in the running for the 2020 presidency. Biden served as a senator from Delaware for 36 years before assuming the role of VP to former President Barack Obama in 2009. This will be Biden's third bid for the presidency; he also ran in 1988 and 2008.
Biden will focus on rebuilding the middle class, repairing our relationships with allies and modernizing the military.
The billionaire and former New York City Mayor launched his bid for president late in the game. He's one of the richest men in the world and was formerly a Republican.
In a written statement on his campaign site, he said he is uniquely positioned to defeat Trump and "rebuild America." Bloomberg is considered a centrist and has deep ties to Wall Street. He has said that he would not accept political donations for his campaign nor take a salary if he were president.
Bloomberg has devoted tens of millions of dollars to pursue his policy priorities in recent years, producing measurable progress in cities and states across America. He has helped shutter 282 coal plants in the United States and organized a coalition of American cities on track to cut 75 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2025.
At age 37, Pete Buttigieg is one of the youngest candidates in the race, and he's framing his campaign around the idea that nostalgia for bygone eras is getting in the way of creating a better future. Buttigieg is focused on the issues that have become focal points for American youth in recent years, like addressing climate change, making health care more accessible and creating strong protections for marginalized identities.
Buttigieg is currently serving as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a position he assumed when he was only 29 years old. He once took an unpaid seven-month leave from his position as mayor to deploy to Afghanistan as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
At the age of 21, Tulsi Gabbard served in Hawaii's State Legislature before going on to complete two deployments to the Middle East as part of the Hawaii Army National Guard. Today, she is a major in the National Guard and is serving her fourth-term in Congress.
Gabbard's experience in the military inspired her presidential platform, and putting an end to regime change wars overseas is her most pressing point. She hopes to redirect the resources that are being poured into American military interventions overseas into creating a renewable, sustainable economy at home. Environmental protection, infrastructure improvement, breaking up big banks, criminal justice reform, health care for all and sustainable agriculture are also major priorities.
Amy Klobuchar served as Hennepin County attorney for two terms, from 1998 to 2006, before being elected to the Senate for the state of Minnesota, where she has served for the past 12 years.
Klobuchar's top budget priority is fixing infrastructure. She has drafted a wide-sweeping, trillion-dollar plan that proposes the repair and replacement of roads, highways and bridges. Klobuchar also looks to provide protection against flooding, modernize airports and seaports, expand public transportation, rebuild schools, connect every household to the internet by 2020 and ensure clean water.
Deval Patrick made history as the first black governor of Massachusetts when he was elected in 2006. Patrick has close ties to former President Barack Obama and his network of political advisers. He’s remained active in politics since his term as governor ended in 2015, including campaigning for Doug Jones during Alabama’s 2017 special election for U.S. Senate. He also traveled across the country in support of Democratic candidates during the 2018 midterm elections.
In a video announcing his bid, Patrick highlighted his poverty-stricken childhood on Chicago’s South Side, saying he’s running for the “people who feel left out and left back.”
Bernie Sanders, who identifies as a democratic socialist, captivated the country during his 2016 run for the Democratic nomination for president against Hillary Clinton, but his political career began long before. He was mayor of Burlington, Vermont for eight years, and he served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to the Senate.
He is running on a platform built around the same ideologies which shaped his 2016 campaign: Medicare for all, free college tuition and limiting the influence of billionaires and money in politics.
Tom Steyer, 62, is a self-made billionaire who was among the first to sign the Giving Pledge — a commitment to give away the bulk of his personal wealth over the course of his lifetime. In 2013, he founded NextGen America, a nonprofit that utilizes voter registration and grassroots organizing to combat climate change, promote social justice, and increase political participation. In 2017, he turned his focus to a wide-scale impeachment campaign, rallying millions of Americans to make a public call for Donald Trump’s removal from office.
Elizabeth Warren was a professor for more than 30 years at Rutgers University, University of Houston, University of Texas-Austin, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. During the 2008 financial crisis, she served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel to help with oversight of the Wall Street bailout. She went on to become a senator from Massachusetts in 2012.
Warren has set her sights on ending corruption in Washington, getting big money out of politics, expanding voting rights and rebuilding the middle class through the strengthening of unions, enforcement of antitrust laws and tax reform.
Andrew Yang comes from the tech industry and is an entrepreneur and former executive who founded a highly successful education company before going on to found Venture for America, an economic development nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs create jobs.
Yang has settled on three major policies in his campaign: a universal basic income of $1,000 monthly for every American, Medicare for all and human-centered capitalism.
Donald Trump is currently serving as the 45th president of the United States after a long and highly-publicized career as a businessman and television personality.
Trump is devoted to tackling the same issues in 2020 that are on his slate right now: buckling down on immigration and strengthening national security through endeavors like building a wall at the Mexico border, renegotiating or exiting from trade deals like TPP and NAFTA to boost the economy and building up the military to fight terrorism abroad.
William Weld was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1990 and re-elected in 1994. He was the first Republican to be elected to the office in 20 years. He got his political start as a staffer for Congress during the Watergate case which led to Nixon's impeachment, and then he went on to serve as assistant U.S. attorney general in Ronald Reagan's Justice Department.
Weld is framing his campaign around his direct opposition to the Trump administration, situating himself as the moderate Republican alternative to Trump. He hopes to reduce divisiveness between parties and implement more conservative economic policies.