While there have been dozens of people who have filed to run for president, some as early as the day Donald Trump was elected, here are the most prominent candidates who have officially announced their candidacy.
1. Julian Castro (D)
Julian Castro served as mayor to San Antonio, Texas and as Secretary of Housing and Development under President Barack Obama. He was the youngest cabinet member during his time as Secretary of Housing and Development. Castro was also the first Hispanic to ever deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Julian Castro published his memoir titled "An Unlikely Journey: Waking up from my American Dream" on October 16th, 2018, and rumors began circulating of his possible run for president. He had already been considered as a potential vice president in 2016 under Hillary Clinton making his 2020 run more likely.
Following the release of his book, he began alluding to his potential run, saying on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert that he would be announcing his candidacy soon. He officially announced that he would be running for president in 2020 in a statement released on January 12, 2019.
2. John Delaney (D)
John Delaney started out as a businessman but transitioned into politics in 2012 when he ran for Congress after a redistricting in Maryland led to a possible lean in the favor of Democrats in district 6. He won in 2012 and also won his reelection campaigns in 2014 and 2016.
Often described as a moderate Democrat, Delaney sees himself as progressive in some areas and moderate in others. He did, however, receive a perfect score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign due to his continued support and push for equality focused legislation. He became the first candidate to officially announce their run for President of the United States in July of 2017, mere months after Donald Trump was elected.
3. Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Tulsi Gabbard has been involved in public service since 2002 when she was elected the representative of the 42nd district of the Hawaii House of Representatives. She ran for re-election but ended up resigning to instead volunteer with the Army National Guard for service in Iraq. She returned home and ran for the Honolulu City Council in 2009, eventually running and winning a seat in the House of Representatives in 2012. She was re-elected in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
On February 28, 2016, Gabbard stepped down as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and became the first female U.S. Representative to endorse Bernie Sanders. She supports tuition-free colleges as well as Universal Health Care.
She has faced criticism for an "unplanned" meeting with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in 2017, as well as her previous opposition to same-sex marriage. She has since apologized and come out in support of same-sex marriage. She confirmed on January 11 that she would be running in the 2020 Presidential election.
4. Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
Kirsten Gillibrand began her law career in 1991 and would work on Hillary Clintons 2000 U.S. Senate campaign. In 2006 she ran for the House of Representatives and won reelection in 2008. Kirsten was appointed senator upon Hillary Clinton becoming Secretary of State for the Obama administration and won the right to finish the term in a 2010 election. She sought and won 6-year-term reelections in both 2012 and 2018.
Gillibrands positions have become steadily more liberal since joining the U.S. Senate. She is a strong supporter of abortion rights, same-sex marriage and co-sponsored Bernie Sanders Medicare-for-all bill. Although she has not officially announced her bid for the 2020 Presidential election, Kirsten Gillibrand has announced that she has formed an exploratory committee.
5. Kamala Harris (D)
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California and has served as the junior U.S. Senator for California since 2017. She began as an attorney and served as District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2010 and as Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017.
Her political positions are considered progressive as she has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, supports removing Marijuana's status as a schedule 1 drug, opposes the death penalty and co-sponsored the Medicare-for-all bill proposed by Bernie Sanders. She also developed the Environmental Justice Unit while she was San Francisco's District Attorney and advocates for the enforcement of environmental laws.
On Monday, January 21, 2019, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she announced that she would be running for President in the 2020 election. Should she win she would be not only the first woman but also first woman of color, to serve the country as President.
6. Richard Ojeda (D)
Retired Army Major, Richard Ojeda, served in the United States Army for 24 years before retiring. After his retirement he became an ROTC instructor from 2013 until 2017 when his Senate duties became too time-consuming.
He began his career in politics in 2014 when he ran for Congress, however, he lost to the incumbent. In 2016 he ran for Senate and won. In 2018 he ran for Congress again but lost after a visit from Donald Trump who mocked Ojeda on the campaign trail.
Richard Ojeda voted for Donald Trump in 2016 but has stated he regrets his decision to do so. He supports Medicare-for-all and the legalization of marijuana but considers himself moderate in most of his views. Earlier this year he traveled to California for the LA teachers strike and has organized many in his own state of West Virginia. He announced his run for President in November 2018.
While it may seem that we're still a long ways away from the next election, it's important to start listening now. Keep your eyes peeled for more candidacy announcements and learn everything you can before making any decisions on the matter. Our voices determine our future!