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All the Democratic candidates who ran for president in 2020

Behind Joe Biden's search for a running mate

More Democratic candidates jumped into the presidential race in 2019 than America has seen since the inception of the modern primary system. Here's a look at all the Democrats who campaigned for a chance to take on President Trump in November 2020.

Michael Bennet

Sen. Michael Bennet appears on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday, May 2, 2019

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
  • Campaign ended February 11, 2020.

Bill de Blasio

New York City mayor

  • Elected to a second term as mayor in 2017.
  • Represents 8.6 million constituents.
  • Issues: Immigration, climate change, minimum wage, education, mental health reform, health care.
  • Campaign ended on September 20, 2019.

Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during his first campaign event as a candidate for president at Teamsters Local 249 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 29, 2019. Getty

Former vice president and senator from Delaware

  • Widely known for his tight-knit relationship with President Obama during his time in the White House, Biden also served in Congress for 35 years and ran two previous 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, 2019 with a video criticizing President Trump for his response to the Charlottesville riots.
  • After strong showings in the South Carolina primary and on Super Tuesday he solidified his lead in the Democratic field and prepared to take on President Trump in the fall.

Cory Booker

Sen. Cory Booker speaks at a legislative conference in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019. Yuri Gripas / REUTERS

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 criminal justice reform and the decriminalization of marijuana central issues, and also said environmental policy would be high on his agenda.
  • Ended his campaign on January 13, 2020.

Steve Bullock

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is the 23rd candidate to enter the 2020 race for the Democratic nomination CBS News

Montana governor

  • Before his current tenure as governor, he served as Montana's attorney general for one term
  • During the 2016 election, when Mr. Trump won Republican-leaning Montana by nearly 21 percentage points, Bullock was reelected by a 4-point margin
  • Issues: Supported same-sex marriage, net neutrality and held pro-choice views on abortion. He also worked with the Republican-controlled legislature to push through some of the most sweeping campaign finance reforms in the country.
  • Ended his campaign in December 2019.

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg speaks during a meet-and-greet at Madhouse Coffee on April 8, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Getty Images

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.
  • Ended campaign March 1, 2020 and endorsed Joe Biden.

Julián Castro

Castro speaks at Saint Anselm College on Jan. 16, 2019, in Manchester, New Hampshire. AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

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 Congressman 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: The first Democrat to have released a comprehensive immigration plan, he also focused on affordable college and health care.
  • Campaign ended on January 2, 2020.

John Delaney

Rep. John Delaney Nick Wass/Associated Press

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.
  • Ended campaign on January 31, 2020.

Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel GETTY IMAGES/Mark Wilson

Former Alaska senator between 1969 and 1981

  • Staunch opponent of the Vietnam War, Gravel was perhaps best known for reading the "Pentagon Papers" into the public record.
  • Ran for Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 on a left-wing, anti-war platform. Briefly achieved viral celebrity due to his pugnacious debate performances and eccentric campaign ads.
  • Issues: At age 88, says he is not interested in winning the presidency but ran anyway to highlight issues he feels are important. Favors a non-interventionist foreign policy, direct democracy, and universal health care.
  • Ended campaign on August 6, 2019 and endorsed Bernie Sanders.

Kirsten Gillibrand

Gillibrand greets customers while campaigning for president at Revelstoke Coffee in Concord, New Hampshire, on Feb. 15, 2019. BRIAN SNYDER / REUTERS

New York senator since 2009 and former New York representative

  • Elected to an upstate New York U.S. House seat in 2006, she was chosen to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacancy created when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009.
  • Considered a moderate in the House, she became more liberal after her promotion to the Senate.
  • Known as a stalwart critic of Mr. Trump.
  • Issues: Highlights many women's issues in her candidacy. Has fought to bring attention to sexual assault in the U.S. military. Favors "Medicare for All" and the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • Ended her campaign on August 28, 2019.

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar addresses voters and answers questions at the Pizza Ranch restaurant on March 16, 2019, in Independence, Iowa. Getty Images

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.
  • Ended campaign on March 2, 2020 and endorsed Joe Biden.

John Hickenlooper

John Hickenlooper speaks at the 2019 National Action Network National Convention in New York on April 5, 2019. Lucas Jackson / REUTERS

Former Colorado governor and Denver mayor

  • Began his career as a geologist and later became a successful brewpub operator, with 15 locations in Colorado.
  • Was a pro-business governor who emphasized consensus building.
  • Has struggled to explain his beliefs, such as whether he is a capitalist or a socialist; has settled on emphasizing background as entrepreneur.
  • Hates negative ads so much he vowed not run any negative ads during his gubernatorial campaigns.
  • Issues: Signed expansion of Medicaid in Colorado; oversaw legalization of marijuana, though he personally opposed it. Says he wants to bring consensus-style governing to Washington.
  • Campaign ended on August 15, 2019.

Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard greets supporters on Nov. 6, 2018, in Honolulu. AP Photo/Marco Garcia

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."
  • Ended her campaign on March 19, 2020.

Kamala Harris

Sen. Kamala Harris speaks to her supporters during her presidential campaign launch rally on Jan. 27, 2019, in Oakland, California. Mason Trinca / Getty Images

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.
  • Ended her campaign on December 3, 2019.

Jay Inslee

Inslee speaks during the "We the People" summit at the Warner Theatre on April 1, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Getty Images

Washington governor and former Washington congressman

  • Was an early proponent of reducing greenhouse gases and reducing fossil fuel usage.
  • As governor, has challenged Trump administration policies, including the travel ban, through lawsuits.
  • Was originally elected to the House in 1992, then lost his seat in the next election before mounting a political comeback.
  • Issued a moratorium on executions in Washington in 2014.
  • Issues: Climate change is the center of his campaign. Also supports the legalization of recreational marijuana use and an increase in the minimum wage.
  • Ended his campaign on August 21, 2019.

Wayne Messam

Screenshot from Wayne Messam's 2020 campaign video Wayne for America

    Miramar, Florida, mayor, elected in 2014

    • Unseated 16-year incumbent and became first African-American mayor of Miramar.
    • Was a starting wide receiver on 1993 NCAA championship Florida State University team.
    • Says he would eliminate gun violence nationwide by the end of his administration,
    • Issues: Has passed living wage legislation in Miramar; proposes forgiving all student loan debt and repealing Trump tax cut.
    • Ended his campaign on November 20, 2019.

    Beto O'Rourke

    O'Rourke addresses his supporters at a kickoff rally on the streets of El Paso, Texas, on March 30, 2019. Jose Luis Gonzalez / REUTERS

    Former Texas representative

    • Attempted longshot campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 and failed, but managed to attract impressive crowds and donations and performed better than any Democrat running for statewide office Texas in decades.
    • Backed Tim Ryan's bid to unseat Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader.
    • Advocates universal background checks, magazine size restrictions and other gun control measures.
    • Issues: Central issue for the El Paso Democrat is immigration. Supports a path to citizenship for DREAMers and opposes building of border wall.
    • Campaign ended on November 1, 2019.

    Tim Ryan

    Ryan speaks at the National Action Network's annual convention on April 5, 2019, in New York. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

      Ohio representative elected in 2002

      • Launched an unsuccessful bid to replace Nancy Pelosi, then House minority leader, in 2016;
      • Has broken with his party to support GOP-supported fracking measures;
      • Began his career in politics as an aide to Rep. Jim Traficant, whom he replaced when Traficant was convicted of corruption charges;
      • Issues: Wants to revamp the health care industry; would try to revitalize economies of Rust Belt communities, change tax code, bring electric auto manufacturing to Midwest.
      • Campaign ended in October 2019.

      Bernie Sanders

      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.
      • Ended his campaign on April 8, 2020.

      Joe Sestak

      Former Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania, stands onstage with his wife Susan and daughter Alex, after conceding the Pennsylvania Senate race to Republican Pat Toomey November 3, 2010. William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

      Former Pennsylvania representative

      • Retired Navy admiral who received two Legion of Merit awards, among other distinctions
      • Launched his campaign on June 24, 2019, less than a week before the first Democratic debate
      • Walked across the state of Pennsylvania as part of his 2016 congressional campaign against Sen. Pat Toomey
      • Issues: Citing his more than three decades of military experience, Sestak says he wants to "restore America's leadership in the world" by rejoining the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal.
      • Campaign ended on December 1, 2019.

      Eric Swalwell

      Swalwell speaks to guests during an event at the Iowa City Public Library on Feb. 18, 2019, in Iowa City, Iowa. Getty Images

        California representative elected in 2012

        • Does not plan to run for Congress while running for president, although he's suggested he may change his mind if his campaign falters early on.
        • Has been one of Mr. Trump's most outspoken critics.
        • A frequent guest on cable news shows.
        • Issues: Gun safety is his top agenda item.
        • Campaign ended in July 2019.

        Elizabeth Warren

        Warren speaks at the South by Southwest conference and festivals in Austin, Texas, on March 9, 2019. SERGIO FLORES / REUTERS

        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.
        • Ended her campaign on March 5, 2020.

        Marianne Williamson

        Marianne Williamson attends the Project Angel Food's Angel Awards on August 22, 2015, in Hollywood, California. Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Project Angel Food

        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 Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
        • Ended campaign on January 10, 2020.

        Andrew Yang

        Yang attends Potluck Insurgency, a local Democratic activist event, at the home of one of its members in Iowa City, Iowa, on March 10, 2019. Scott Morgan / REUTERS

        Entrepreneur

        • Founded "Venture for America," a nonprofit that teaches young people to work at start-ups.
        • Launched his campaign in November 2017.
        • Is the fourth Asian American to run for president.
        • Issues: Supports the implementation of a Universal Basic Income, which he calls the Freedom Dividend, which would give money to all Americans. Also favors Medicare for All and the hiring of a White House psychologist to work on mental health issues.
        • Ended campaign on February 11, 2020.

        Deval Patrick

        Deval Patrick speaks during the Nevada Democratic's "First in the West" event at Bellagio Resort & Casino on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Getty Images

        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.
        • Campaign ended February 12, 2020.

        Tom Steyer

        Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer appears on "Face the Nation" on Sunday, February 16, 2020. CBS News

        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.
        • Campaign ended February 29, 2020.

        Michael Bloomberg

        Democratic presidential hopeful Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg speaks during the ninth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, Noticias Telemundo and The Nevada Independent at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 19, 2020. Getty

        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.
        • Campaign ended March 4, 2020.
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