- Michael Bennet, Colorado senator
- Joe Biden, former vice president
- Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor
- Cory Booker, New Jersey senator
- Pete Buttigieg, South Bend Indiana mayor
- Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary
- John Delaney, former Maryland representative
- Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii representative
- Kamala Harris, California senator
- Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator
- Deval Patrick, former Massachusetts governor
- Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator
- Tom Steyer, businessman
- Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator
- Marianne Williamson, author based in California
- Andrew Yang, entrepreneur based in Manhattan
The 2020 presidential campaign has begun, and since the inception of the modern primary system, there have never been as many Democratic candidates in the field. Here’s the list of those hoping to win the chance to take on President Trump in the 2020 election.
And here are the candidates who have ended their campaigns:
- Mike Gravel, former Alaska senator
- John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor
- Jay Inslee, Washington governor
- Eric Swalwell, California representative
- Kirsten Gillibrand, New York senator
- John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor
- Seth Moulton, Massachusetts representative
- Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor
- Tim Ryan, Ohio representative
- Beto O’Rourke, former Texas representative
- Wayne Messam, Miramar, Florida, mayor
- Joe Sestak, former Pennsylvania representative
- Steve Bullock, Montana governor
Colorado senator elected in 2009
- Spent seven years in the private sector where served as director of the Anschutz Investment Company
- In 2003, Bennet became the chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
- Left Hickenlooper’s office in 2005 to become superintendent of the Denver Public School system, where he helped pass a merit pay system for teachers
- Appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar in 2009 and promptly re-elected the following year
- Issues: Public option for health care, climate change, immigration, education
Former vice president and senator from Delaware
- Although he is widely known for his tight-knit relationship with President Obama during his time in the White House, Biden served in Congress for 35 years and ran two unsuccessful campaigns for president.
- Biden decided to launch an underdog campaign for one of Delaware’s Senate seats in 1972, eventually beating a 12-year incumbent. His surprising victory, however, was overshadowed by tragedy. Biden lost his first wife, Neilia Hunter, and 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, to a car crash days before Christmas.
- During his long tenure in Congress, Biden solidified himself as one of the most influential members of the Senate, leading the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees during different terms.
- Biden sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008, dropping out during the primary in both. After Biden left the 2008 race, Mr. Obama picked the Delaware senator to be his running mate.
- After Mr. Obama’s historic election, Biden resigned from the Senate to be sworn in as vice president in 2009. Over the years, he was a loyal advocate for Mr. Obama’s policies and the two developed a strong friendship.
- In May 2015, his eldest son, Beau, died at age 46 after a battle with brain cancer. Beau’s death was one of the reasons his father opted not to run for president in 2016, a decision he has repeatedly said he regrets.
- He launched his 2020 bid on April 25 with a video criticizing Mr. Trump for his response to the Charlottesville riots.
New Jersey senator elected in 2013, and former Newark mayor
- Booker says he is running to restore “civic grace in America.”
- He first gained prominence as the young and charismatic mayor of Newark, New Jersey, from 2006 to 2013.
- He has introduced a bill to study reparations for descendants of slaves.
- Was a chief architect of the First Step Act, a criminal sentencing law signed by Mr. Trump in 2018.
- Issues: Has made criminal justice reform and the decriminalization of marijuana his central issues, and also says environmental policy will be high on his agenda.
South Bend, Indiana, mayor, elected in 2011
- Served in Afghanistan as member of Navy Reserve while he was mayor. At 37 years of age, is the youngest of the contenders, and is also openly gay and married;
- Took on Vice President Mike Pence, an ardent foe of gay marriage. “[I]f you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” he said in April.
- Unsuccessfully attempted to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee after the 2016 election.
- Speaks often about his Christian faith.
- Issues: Has focused on improving higher education and health care. Has also proposed a plan to add six seats to the Supreme Court in an effort to reduce judicial partisanship.
Former Housing and Urban Development secretary and former mayor of San Antonio
- Focused on stabilizing housing market and preserving affordable housing in the wake of the financial crisis.
- Is the identical twin of Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro.
- Served in the large ceremonial job of mayor of San Antonio before joining the Obama administration as HUD secretary.
- If elected, would be first Hispanic president.
- Issues: Is the first Democrat to have released a comprehensive immigration plan. Says he is also focusing on affordable college and health care.
Former Maryland congressman
- Was the first candidate in the field, declaring in July 2017.
- Co-founded two profitable companies, both of which are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
- Issues: Has promised to support only bipartisan bills during his first 100 days in office if elected. Priorities include ethics reform in government. Has also promised to launch a $500 billion national affordable housing program, and also favors a carbon tax to combat climate change.
Minnesota senator, elected in 2006
- Says she was inspired to become politically active after she was forced to return to work one day after giving birth.
- Was resoundingly reelected in 2018, winning numerous rural districts that had supported President Trump in 2016.
- Had viral moment during questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. At one point, when she asked if Kavanaugh had ever blacked out from drinking, he retorted: “Have you?” Kavanaugh later apologized for the outburst after Klobuchar noted her father struggled with alcohol addiction.
- Issues: Considered a relative moderate in the field. Has criticized progressive proposals such as “Medicare for All” and the “Green New Deal.” Says she favors affordable health care, election security and cutting prescription drug prices.
Hawaii representative, elected in 2012
- Is an officer in the Army National Guard who served in Iraq.
- Has questioned whether Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad ordered chemical attack on his own people, and in 2017 attracted controversy by meeting with him in Syria. Remains unwilling to say that Assad is an adversary of the U.S.
- Endorsed Bernie Sanders for president in 2016, resigning her post as DNC vice chair to do so.
- Was the first Hindu member of Congress.
- Issues: Says her main issue is “war and peace.” Would end what she says are “America’s interventionist wars of regime change.”
California senator, elected in 2016; former California attorney general
- Has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and has subjected Trump nominees like Brett Kavanaugh to fierce questioning.
- As California attorney general, created a reentry program for nonviolent, first-time drug offenders to help bring down recidivism rates.
- Was elected to the Senate in 2016.
- Is the daughter of a Jamaican father and and Indian mother.
- Issues: Advocates for criminal justice and immigration reform; wants to give U.S. teachers a $13,500 average pay raise; has introduced middle- and lower-class tax cut measure.
Former Massachusetts governor
- Before serving as governor, he led the Justice Department’s civil rights division under former President Clinton.
- During his eight years as governor from 2007 to 2015, he implemented health care reforms that later served as a model for Obamacare and raised the state’s minimum wage to $11 per hour.
- A close ally of former President Obama’s.
- In the private sector, he was most recently a managing director at Bain Capital, a private equity firm.
- Joined the race in November 2019.
Independent Vermont senator and former congressman and mayor of Burlington
- Identifies as a democratic socialist.
- Unsuccessfully ran for office numerous on a socialist third-party platform numerous times in the 1970s before being elected mayor of Burlington.
- Ran for Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton and won several major contests.
- Is one of two independents in the U.S. Senate.
- Opposed the U.S. war in Iraq, and remains a critic of American military interventionism.
- Issues: Defining issue is economic inequality. Introduced “Medicare for All” bill in 2017 and 2019.
Former hedge fund manager
- One of the biggest liberal political donors.
- Used his fortune as a billionaire to launch a campaign to impeach President Trump.
- Announced his run for the White House in July 2019.
- Issues: Climate change is arguably his biggest — he supports ending offshore drilling, has a five-pillar “Justice-Centered Climate Plan,” and wants to make clean water a constitutional right. He opposes Medicare for All but is in favor of expanding health care access. Supports raising taxes on the wealthy.
Senator from Massachusetts, elected in 2012
- Was a law professor at several colleges, including the University of Texas, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard.
- Was the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.
- Won her Senate seat in 2012 after Republicans blocked her bid to take control of the CFPB.
- Considered one of the foremost progressives in Congress.
- Was a registered Republican until the mid-1990s.
- Issues: Favors more financial regulation and an expansion of government services. Has embraced “Medicare for All,” new taxes on the wealthy, and the “idea” of the “Green New Deal.” Has what is widely considered the most detailed and specific policy platform.
Author of self-help books and promoter of “New Age” spirituality
- Seven of her twelve books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.
- An activist, founded the nonprofit group Project Angel Food, which brings food to the seriously ill, and worked closely with HIV and AIDS patients in the 1980s and 1990s.
- Has also advocated on behalf of various anti-war causes.
- Issues: Williamson believes the federal government should spend hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 20 years on reparations for African Americans. She is also a critic of the U.S. economic system, explaining that her views are similar to Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Former New York City mayor
- The 77-year-old billionaire is self-funding his campaign, meaning he won’t be eligible to appear in Democratic debates.
- He was previously registered as an Independent and Republican.
- He founded Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates against gun violence.
- Through Bloomberg Philanthropies, he helps organizations combat climate change and promote public health, the arts, government innovation and education.
- Issues: He opposes Medicare for All and wealth taxes but is an outspoken advocate for gun control and the environment.