2020 presidential election: Which Democrats are running?

By staff

The number of Democratic presidential contenders continues to grow as we get closer to 2020. But speculation circles around some public figures who haven't declared if they will run yet.

Here's a look at who has made their campaigns official and who may still enter the race.

Eric Swalwell: Yes

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California Rep. Eric Swalwell said he will seek the Democratic nomination for president on April 8 during an appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

"I see a country in quicksand, unable to solve problems and threats from abroad, unable to make life better for people here at home," Swalwell said. He mentioned rising student debt and gun violence as issues facing the country. 

"None of that is going to change until we get a leader who is willing to go big on the issues we take on, be bold in the solutions we offer, and do good in the way that we govern. I'm ready to solve these problems. I'm running for president of the United States," he said.

Swalwell, who has been in Congress for six years, founded the Future Forum, a group of Democratic lawmakers that meet with college students to discuss issues important to them.

Wayne Messam: Yes

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Wayne Messam, the mayor Miramar, a small town in Florida, announced he was joining the field of Democrats running for president on March 28.

"Washington is broken," he said in a video shared on Twitter, pointing out issues like the high costs of prescription drugs, climate change and student debt. 

In the video, Messam tells the story of his parents who moved to the United States from Jamaica. "I'm passionate about the American Dream because it's not a fictitious thing for me. It's real for me," he said. 

Messam is the first African-American to become mayor in Miramar.

Beto O’Rourke: Yes

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Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke joined the growing field of Democratic presidential candidates on March 14.

"This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us. The challenges that we face right now -- the interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy and our climate have never been greater, and they will either consume us, or they will afford us the greatest opportunity to unleash the genius of the United State of America," he said in a video, sitting next to his wife, Amy. "This moment of peril produces, perhaps, the greatest moment of promise for this country and for everyone inside of it."

O'Rourke, who unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Ted Cruz in the midterm elections garnered national attention last year with several viral social media moments and record-breaking fundraising.
In the video announcing his campaign, he spoke about investing in workers, giving everyone access to health care, enacting criminal justice reform, confronting climate change and providing lawful paths for immigrants, calling immigration "the best possible problem for this country to have."


John Hickenlooper: Yes

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Win McNamee

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced on March 4 his plans to join the 2020 race.

Hickenlooper cited his two terms as governor in a campaign video posted to Twitter. "I've proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver," he said, noting the state's healthcare coverage, growing economy, methane emission regulations and gun control laws.

Hickenlooper left his position as governor in January. Prior to being governor, he was mayor of Denver.

Michael Bloomberg: No

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Tim P. Whitby

After re-registering as a Democrat in October and openly toying with the idea of running against Trump, Bloomberg announced on March 5 that he does not intend to seek the nation's highest office.

Although Bloomberg had been a longtime Democrat, the billionaire entrepreneur jumped party lines and ran for mayor of New York City as a Republican in 2001. In 2007, he left the GOP and became an independent.

Bloomberg, who has been critical of the Trump administration, said he intends to launch an initiative to combat climate change instead.

Jay Inslee: Yes

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he would enter the 2020 presidential race on March 1 and made climate change the focus of his announcement.

"I'm running for president because I am the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority," he said in a video posted on Twitter.

He said defeating climate change is "the most urgent challenge of our time."

"We have an opportunity to transform our economy, run on 100 percent clean energy," he said in the video. "That will bring millions of good paying jobs to every community across America and create a more just future for everyone."

Inslee has been the governor of Washington since 2013 and previously served as a member of the House of Representatives. He is the first governor to enter the race for the Democratic nomination.  

Bernie Sanders: Yes

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on Feb. 19 that he will make another run for president in 2020.

"We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it's time to move that revolution forward," Sanders said in an interview on Vermont Public Radio.

The independent senator pushed the party farther to the left when he ran against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries. Sanders, a Brooklyn native, is a proponent of Medicare-for-all, a $15 minimum wage and free college tuition. His campaign in 2016 did not take any corporate PAC donations and he has vowed to run another grassroots campaign.

Amy Klobuchar: Yes

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Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced her presidential bid on Feb. 10.

"I stand before you as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, the daughter of a teacher and a newspaperman, the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the state of Minnesota, to announce my candidacy for president of the United States," Klobuchar said.

The moderate third-term senator vowed to take action on digital issues such as privacy, endorsed universal healthcare and said if she were elected she would rejoin the Paris climate agreement on her first day in office.

Cory Booker: Yes

Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

On Feb. 1, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker announced he is running for president in a campaign video.

In the video, Booker speaks about his childhood and when he moved to Newark as an adult "to fight slumlords and help families stay in their homes."

"I grew up knowing that the only way we can make change is when people come together," he narrates in the video. "The history of our nation is defined by collective action, by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists, of those born here and those who chose America as home, of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it."

Booker repeated a phrase he used in his speech at the 2016 Democratic Convention, which had spurred talk of him making a future run for the White House. "Together, America, we will rise," he said.

Pete Buttigieg: Yes

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Pete Buttigieg, a veteran and the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced he plans to run for president in 2020 on Jan. 23.

"I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future. Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?" Buttigieg wrote on Twitter.

As he speaks about "walking away from the politics of the past," his campaign video flashes images of protesters with signs denouncing construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and calling for healthcare and action against climate change.

In the video, Buttigieg also highlights his city's transformation after he took office. "When I arrived in office at the beginning of this decade, the national press said that our city was dying," he said. "We propelled our city's comeback by taking our eyes off the rearview mirror, being honest about change and insisting on a better future."

Kamala Harris: Yes

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

The California senator launched her 2020 campaign on Jan. 22, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

"Let's do this, together. Let's claim our future. For ourselves, for our children, and for our country," Harris said in a campaign video.

The daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, Harris emerged as a sharp interrogator of Trump officials while sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The former California attorney general also has blasted Trump on numerous occasions.

Her campaign will focus on reducing the high cost of living with a middle-class tax credit, pursuing immigration and criminal justice changes and a Medicare-for-all health care system. She has said she will reject corporate political action committee money.

Kirsten Gillibrand: Yes

Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announces a push on the Modernizing Obstetric Medicine Standards Act at her office in Manhattan on Jan. 13, 2019.

Marianne Williamson: Yes

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Marianne Williamson took the leap from New York Times best-selling author and motivational speaker to Democratic presidential candidate on Jan. 28.

Williamson announced her candidacy in Los Angeles, highlighting a campaign that will focus on lifting up the individual with love and inspiring change on a grassroots level.

"It is time for us to rise up the way that other generations have risen up," Williamson said. "Let us make history. Let us more than make history; let us make this a more beautiful world."

Julian Castro: Yes

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Edward A. Ornelas

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said he will run for the Democratic nomination on Jan. 12. Castro, who served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, would be the first Hispanic president if elected.

At his campaign announcement, Castro endorsed a Medicare-for-all health care plan and repeated support for the Black Lives Matter movement. He also criticized President Donald Trump's border policies, saying while "we must have border security ... there is a smart and humane way to do it. And there is no way in hell that caging children is keeping us safe."

Castro said he's "running for president because it's time for new leadership. Because it's time for new energy."

Tulsi Gabbard: Yes

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Aaron P. Bernstein

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii declared her intent to seek the Democratic nomination for president on Jan. 11. The Iraq War veteran, 37, said the "issue of war and peace" would be the focus of her campaign.

Gabbard was elected to the House in 2012 after serving in the Hawaii State Legislature. She was the first Hindu and first American Samoan in Congress.

Perceived as a liberal member of the caucus, Gabbard endorsed Bernie Sanders for the presidency in 2016 after quitting a Democratic National Committee post over a disagreement on the number of debates between Sanders and candidate Hillary Clinton.

"When we stand together, united by our love for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome," Gabbard tweeted on Jan. 11.

Elizabeth Warren: Yes

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Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on Dec. 31, 2018 that she was launching an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential run. "Every person in America should be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, & take care of themselves & the people they love. That's what I'm fighting for," Warren wrote on Twitter.

Warren passed on running for the top office in 2016, but after President Donald Trump's victory, she was immediately considered a likely candidate for 2020.

Bill de Blasio: Maybe

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Mayor Bill de Blasio has openly toyed with the idea of running for president for several months. Multiple trips outside of the city, including to Iowa and South Carolina, suggest de Blasio is positioning himself for the national stage. The mayor also had planned a nongovernmental trip to the key presidential state of New Hampshire but canceled the visit after the on-duty death of an NYPD detective.

"I have not ruled it out, but I'm going to take this message nationally any way you slice it," de Blasio said when "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd recently asked if he would take his progressive platform nationally and run for president.

Joe Biden: Maybe

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Biden has considered a run for the White House for many years. He was unsuccessful in 1988 and 2008, and he decided not to run in 2016, primarily because of the death of his oldest son in 2015. According to a New York Times article, Biden has told aids he is skeptical that other Democrats can win against President Donald Trump. If he decides to run, he is expected to be the early front-runner.

During an interview with "CBS This Morning" in October, he let voters in on what he considers important in his decision-making process.

"I don't think about the polling data. I think about whether or not I should run based on very private decisions relating to my family and the loss of my son and what I want to do with the rest of my life," Biden said. "But I don't think of it in terms of can I win, can I - will I lose. That's not part of the calculation."

Andrew Cuomo: Probably not

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Some political experts say New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has had his eye on the White House for some time, but his relationship with the Clintons stopped him from running in 2016. However, the governor vowed during a Democratic gubernatorial debate in August that he would not seek the party's presidential nomination in 2020. "The only caveat is if God strikes me dead, otherwise I will serve four years as governor of New York," Cuomo said.

Michelle Obama: Not happening

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Talk of former first lady Michelle Obama running for president increased after her powerful Democratic National Convention speech in July 2016, but she and former President Barack Obama have said multiple times she is not interested in being president.

"This is why I'm not running for president," she said at a Klick Health Muse event in New York on March 27. "Because I think it's a better investment to invest in creating thousands of mes," adding that it is important for older leaders to step out and make room for a new generation and "new energy." She has dispelled the rumors of a possible presidential bid multiple times in the past, including her flat refusal at South by Southwest on March 16, 2016, when she said, "I will not run for president. No, nope, not going to do it."

The former president also has reiterated his wife's decision, saying, "There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes and Michelle is not running for president. That, I can tell you," as long ago as January 2016.