Trail Tracker 2020:
The Big Three
Who's in and who's to come ... and who are the new faces now in the national spotlight? We explore the first three official candidates running for the Democrat nomination.
Harris. Warren. Booker. They're the names you know, the names you expect. There's about four, maybe five of them depending on how you quantify their national popularity. But what if I told you ... Klobuchar ... Gabbard ... Castro are also in the hunt. The relatively unknowns, new to country-wide press coverage, the types of names that you hear your uncle mention at the family birthday party or Thanksgiving day dinner and, with relative ease, provides the following analysis: "why in the Hell are they running!? They've got no shot, and they're making the race for the eventual nominee more difficult!" One may respond to this criticism by saying, "oh yea? How'd that go for Clinton?"
As the race plays out, we'll explore that dynamic and numerous others. For now, we want to provide the most up-to-date picture of who's currently running for the the 2020 nomination. Below are the positions, policies, and personalities of the first three official candidates running for the Democrat nomination for President.
Julian Castro (D)
Former HHS Secretary, Obama Admin.
Declared for 2020 on Jan 12. Born 1974 in San Antonio, Texas. Lawyer by trade out of Harvard Law School. Elected Mayor of San Antonio in '09 until President Obama tapped him for the Housing and Human Services Dept senior leadership role in 2013. As Mayor, Castro delivered the most innovative universal pre-k program in the nation, and in his role at HHS, preserved public housing and created new investments in affordable housing. Although his resume is light, his education record and ability to get his candidacy out there early might differentiate him from the pack. His twin brother is a member of the US House, representing San Antonio. Castro would be the first Latino to secure the Democrat nomination for President. The former HHS Secretary was on the shortlist of running mates for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Married in '07 and has one girl and one boy, ages ten and five, respectfully.
Supports / Supporting: Pro-choice, LGBTQ issues, free trade, green energy / climate change research, universal pre-k, two-year free college, medicare-for-all, higher taxes on corporations, higher taxes on rich, Syria troop withdrawal, no pac money, assault weapons ban, closing of gun show loophole, pathway to citizenship.
The One Thing: Young and exciting candidate who could increase hispanic turnout in Texas and other strongholds for GOP in the South and Southwest.
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Declared for 2020 on Jan 15. Born 1966 in Albany, New York. Lawyer by trade out of UCLA with a judicial clerkship, HHS role, and an Aide to Hillary Clinton during her run for the US Senate in 2000, Gillibrand won a US House seat out of Albany in 2006 as a blue dog Democrat. Voted against the bank bailout and medicare-for-all legislation while in the House. Appointed in 2009 to serve in Hillary Clinton's US Senate seat, of which Clinton vacated to serve as Secretary of State. Has moved considerably to the left since serving in the US Senate. Substantial legislative victories under her belt as a Senator including the authoring and passage of healthcare compensation for 9/11 families, repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and extended limitations of Insider Trading for Members of Congress. Holds controversial positions on the banning of boycotts supporting protest against the Israeli government. Early on during the #MeToo movement, Gillibrand became the first member of the US Senate to advocate for Senator Al Franken stepping down after he admitted to incidents of sexual harassment while a comedian, and furthermore, commented that former President Bill Clinton should have resigned in regards to his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky citing the flagrant abuse of power. Married in '01 and has two sons, ages sixteen and eleven.
Supports / Supporting: Pro-choice, LGBTQ issues (pro-gay marriage since 2010), free trade, green energy / climate change research, stem-cell research, universal pre-k, free college for those whose parents make <$125K, medicare-for-all, higher taxes on corporations, higher taxes on rich (since 2012), Syria troop withdrawal, no pac money, gun control (since 2010), pathway to citizenship (since 2010), criminal justice reform.
The One Thing: Moderate (albeit more liberal these days) female candidate who understands the proclivities and sensibilities of middle class voters and could fair well in then midwest, regaining lost 2016 states on the electoral map.
Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Declared for 2020 on Jan 21. Born 1964 in Oakland, California. Lawyer by trade out of the University of California, Harris has served in various law enforcement roles since 1990. In 2004 Harris was elected DA for the City of San Fransisco, and, after serving two terms in that capacity, won election to Attorney General of California. In this role, Harris started a Mortgage Foreclosure Strike Force to investigate mortgage foreclosure fraud and predatory lending, the Bureau of Children's Justice to look at foster care, the juvenile justice system, and childhood trauma, and secured convictions for a pipeline explosion in the state against multiple energy companies. In 2017, Harris was elected to the US Senate and has been a vocal critic of President Trump. Married in 2014, Harris has one stepson and one stepdaughter.
Supports / Supporting: Pro-choice, LGBTQ issues, free trade, green energy / climate change research, stem-cell research, universal pre-k, free college for those whose parents make <$125K, medicare-for-all, higher taxes on rich (less aggressive on average), Syria troop withdrawal, Afghanistan troop withdrawal, no pac money, universal background checks on guns, assault weapons ban, pathway to citizenship, criminal justice reform.
The One Thing: Former prosecutor with a diverse background could make a strong case to Americans looking for a real fighter against President Trump.