The 2020 election season has kicked off at full throttle with more than a dozen Democrat hopefuls throwing their hat in the race for the White House.
UPDATED 04/09/2019 02:08 PM PST
With so many presidential candidates, it’s nearly impossible to keep them all straight. Iron Triangle Press aims to provide you with an activist’s perspective on each of these candidates and their policies to help you make the most informed choice possible come election day.
The Opening Roster
Senator Cory Booker, New Jersey – age 49
Known for shoveling constituents out of their snow-bound homes in Newark during his time as mayor, Booker has served as the junior senator for New Jersey since 2013 and was the first African-American elected to that position in that state. He attended Yale Law School, and so far is focusing on income inequality, the wealth gap, and the gendered pay gap.
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Texas – age 44
Castro served as the secretary of HUD under the Obama administration after serving as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014, during which time he focused on improving education. He is the son of a Chicana activist, and has been an outspoken supporter of immigrants and immigration reform.
Former Representative John Delaney, Maryland – age 55
Delaney earned his reputation early on as the youngest CEO on the New York Stock exchange and identifies himself as a self-made businessman. He was the first candidate to announce his bid in July 2017 and is more aligned with the centrists of the Democratic party.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii – age 37
An Iraq War veteran as well as the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of Congress, Gabbard has a long history of breaking down barriers and bucking stereotypes. She is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and has been speaking about immigration, military spending, and the prevalence of sexual assault against women in the military.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York – age 52
Gillibrand also has a storied history of political activism and organizing as the granddaughter of Dorthea Noonan, longtime president of the Albany Democratic Women’s Club. She was one of the first to call for Senator Al Franken’s resignation following the release of details implicating Franken in at least two incidents of inappropriate behavior towards women. Her positions have become increasingly progressive following her election; she has focused on immigration and gun reform.
Senator Kamala Harris, California – age 54
For better or for worse, Harris is one of the better-known candidates due to her controversial history as the former state attorney general, during which time she supported police reporting the arrest of undocumented minors to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Harris is the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants and supports progressive policies like Medicare for all and the legalization of cannabis.
Former Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado – age 67
Hickenlooper served as governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019 and was praised for his handling of the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting that left 12 people dead. Before serving as governor, Hickenlooper was the mayor of Denver for eight years. Hickenlooper has so far opposed the Green New Deal as well as Medicare-for-all, although he does support the idea of universal health care. As governor, he prevented members of the Colorado National Guard from participating in the troop enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border as ordered by the president.
Governor Jay Inslee, Washington – age 68
A career politician, Inslee has held elected office for roughly three decades and has been a vocal opponent of the president. Inslee attempted to sue the president following his first issuance of the so-called “Muslim ban” and is running on a platform focused on climate change.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota – age 58
Klobuchar gained recognition for holding her campaign announcement outdoors in the middle of a snowstorm, which she cited as evidence for her commitment to a campaign with “grit.” Klobuchar also aligns with the centrists in the party and is focusing on a bipartisan approach to re-enfranchise working class midwesterners.
Mayor Wayne Messam, Florida – age 44
The mayor of Miramar is the son of Jamaican immigrants and is a first-generation American who has so far focused on gun reform. In 2018, Messam participated in a group that sued the state of Florida over a law that restricted his ability as mayor to implement municipal gun regulations. He also holds progressive positions on climate and immigration policy.
Former Representative Beto O’Rourke, Texas – age 46
Arguably one of the candidates with the greatest name recognition, O’Rourke rose to fame during a Senate race against Ted Cruz that garnered national attention. He holds progressive stances on most policies and has been a vocal critic of the current administration’s handling of the immigration crisis.
Representative Tim Ryan, Ohio – age 45
Ryan used to receive a grade “A” rating from the NRA and used to oppose women’s access to reproductive health care but has since reversed both stances. Now, Ryan believes that women should be in control of their own bodies, and after the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, he began donating all contributions from the NRA to gun control efforts.
Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont – age 77
Sanders entered the national spotlight during the last presidential election during which he faced off against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Many political commentators attribute the leftwards shift in Democratic policies to Sanders’ campaign which promoted a federal $15/hour minimum wage, universal healthcare, and making higher education tuition-free and gained significant traction among the American public. Sanders is the only candidate to have a unionized campaign staff.
Representative Eric Swalwell, California – age 38
Swalwell is a vocal supporter of gun reform and backs Medicare for all as well as the Green New Deal. He has served as representative for California’s 15th District since 2013 and is focused on problems facing the everyday American, like student loan debt, gun violence, and economic inequality.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts – age 69
A co-sponsor of Sanders’ universal healthcare bill, Warren is considered to be one of the candidates closest to Sanders in ideology and policy. Warren was appointed to create and launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the Obama administration and has been a fierce critic of Wall Street, income disparity, and financial transparency in government.
Author Marianne Williamson, Texas – age 66
A spiritualist author by trade, Williamson has counseled Oprah Winfrey and has written a number of best-selling books. Her platform focuses on the “moral and spiritual awakening in the country.” She has no prior political experience.
Businessman Andrew Yang, New York – age 44
Yang is the entrepreneurial brain behind Venture for America, a fellowship program that connects recent graduates with startup companies. His platform focuses on establishing a universal basic income and tackling economic inequality.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Indiana – age 37
South Bend’s “Mayor Pete” has announced the formation of an exploratory committee to examine his potential presidential bid; he would be the youngest and first openly gay president if elected.
Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, Georgia – age 45
Abrams earned her reputation as a supporter of transparency in politics during her race against now Governor Brian Kemp, who held the position of State Secretary during the election, which allowed him to oversee the race and the counting of the votes. Abrams delivered a famous “non-concession” speech when it became clear that the election would not end in her favor. She is focused on enfranchisement, voting rights, and transparency in politics.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, Delaware – age 76
The beloved Vice President to Barack Obama has dropped more than a couple hints that he is considering a run to return to the White House. He faces criticism for previous political decisions as well as accusations of inappropriate physical conduct.
We will continue to update this list as the campaign progresses.