Looking Ahead to 2020: More Campaign Announcements




Ryan Wolfe Staff Reporter

The 2020 presidential race continues to expand as the days inch closer and closer to the primaries. There are 11 candidates officially running in the Democratic primary: Kirsten Gillibrand, the junior Senator from New York; Kamala Harris, the junior Senator from California; John Delaney, the former Representative from Maryland’s 6th Congressional District; Julian Castro, former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas and former Director of Housing and Urban Development; Pete Buttigieg, the current Mayor of South Bend, Indiana; Tulsi Gabbard, the current Representative from Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, Andrew Yang, the former CEO and founder of Venture for America; and the recently announced Cory Booker, the junior Senator from New Jersey; Amy Klobuchar, the senior Senator from Minnesota; and Marianne Williamson, founder of Project Angel Food, author and lecturer on social activism, and former candidate for California’s 33rd Congressional District. Currently, no candidates are running in the Republican primaries to oppose President Trump in his second term. 

Booker announced his candidacy on Feb. 1, 2019. Booker was the mayor of Newark, New Jersey before being elected to the Senate in 2013. He, and many other 2020 candidates, such as Warren, Harris and Gillibrand, was named a part of the “Hell-No Caucus” by Politico. They were group of Democrats senators who opposed President Trump’s cabinet secretaries. Booker was one of the leading senators working on the FIRST Step Act, a criminal justice reform law, which focused on prison and sentencing reform. Booker is rated the most pro-animal welfare voting record in the 115th Congress, according to the Human Society of the United States. 

He has been criticized for his support of big pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street banks and businesses by the left. Booker supports affirmative action programs, a woman’s right to choose, Cap and Trade climate change taxes, anti-lynching legislation, the DREAM Act, an increase of the minimum wage to $15, as well as a singer payer healthcare system — better known as “Medicare-for-All” — which was a bill introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2018. If elected, Booker would be the second African-American elected to the Presidency, as well as the third bachelor elected to the job, following Presidents Cleveland and Buchanan.

Klobuchar announced her candidacy on Feb. 10, 2019. Klobuchar, before being elected senator in 2006, served as district attorney for Hennepin County, the county in which Minneapolis and St. Paul reside. Klobuchar was Minnesota’s first female senator. She has been a long-time prospect for running in 2020. Klobuchar, according to Politico, has polled in 4th place among Iowa voters, finding favor among her southern neighbors who have selected the eventual Democratic nominee as their caucus winner since 1976, with an outlier in 1992 when Tom Harkin, an Iowan, was running; while Klobuchar is in fourth place behind former Vice President Joseph Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke, she is currently the only one of the four who is running. 

Despite her high polling in Iowa, she has recently been criticized for her harsh treatment and high expectations for her Senate staff, causing her to have one of the highest staff turnover rates in the Senate. While in the Senate, Klobuchar introduced and co-sponsored the most legislation that turned into law in her three terms in office. Klobuchar supports a woman’s right to choose. She also wants to reinstate the Clean Power Plant initiative of the Obama administration, which would invest in green jobs and infrastructure, and rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Klobuchar, along with many fellow Democrats, want to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, and she is not accepting PAC money during her campaign. She also plans on introducing legislation that holds social media companies accountable for the information on their websites and who the information is targeting. Klobuchar also supports universal healthcare, enforcing net neutrality nationwide, and she plans on ensuring every household in the United States would have internet access by 2022. If elected, Klobuchar would be the first woman to be the President of the United States. 

Finally, Williamson, author of many self-help books and motivational speaker, announced her candidacy on Jan. 28, 2019. Williamson acquired a national audience in the 1990s on The Oprah Winfrey Show as a spiritual guide. In 2014, Williamson ran an unsuccessful race for California’s 33rd Congressional District, placing fourth. Williamson is known for her calls for reparations for African Americans for slavery in the United States, totaling $100 billion, $10 billion distributed for 10 years. She also has been an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and helped form Project Angel Food, a non-profit for the seriously ill in Los Angeles county to receive free meals. Williamson has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and will use her platform as a spiritual guru to heal the nation. 

While unannounced, many other candidates are rumored to run. John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, has formed a political action committee, aptly named the “Giddy-Up PAC,” while also visiting the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Senator from Vermont and 2016 Democratic primary runner-up, Sanders has been long-rumored to announce his candidacy for president. Sanders, the progressive figurehead of the American liberals, has hired his 2016 Digital Fundraising Director and Digital Productions Director, indicating a possible run in 2020. 

Finally, Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, has expressed serious interest in running as an independent candidate in 2020. Schultz, a self-claimed lifelong Democrat, has said he has become disillusioned from the party and would run as a centrist candidate opposed to the Democratic nominee and President Donald Trump.