Here's everyone who's running for president in 2020, and who has quit the race

Associated PressSen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gestures toward Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., during the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
  • A record number of candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.
  • 20 total Democratic contenders are competing in the primary, including a former vice president, six current US senators, five current and former members of the US House, one governor, four mayors, two businessmen, and one prominent author.
  • Former South Carolina governor and Rep. Mark Sanford, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, and former GOP congressman Joe Walsh are also challenging Trump in the Republican primary.
  • Here’s a list of the major party 2020 presidential candidates.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Soon after assuming the office of the presidency in January 2017, President Donald Trump filed preliminary paperwork that laid the groundwork for re-election in 2020.

Currently, 20 Democratic contenders are lined up to challenge Trump – making for one of the largest and most diverse primary fields in recent history. So far, an additional four Democrats have dropped out of the race.

While California Rep. Eric Swalwell dropped out of the presidential race to run for re-election in the House on July 8, billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer – also from California – jumped into the race less than a day after, pledging to spend at least $US100 million on his campaign.

Since then, former Gov. John Hickenlooper has also dropped out to run for US Senate, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington quit the race on August 21 to run for a third term, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts dropped out to run for re-election, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ended her campaign, too.


Read more:


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has dropped out. Here are the 3 big winners.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, six current and former US Senators, five current and former members of the House of Representatives, four mayors, one governor, two businessmen, and one prominent author are now in the race.

Trump is also facing opposition within his own party. Former South Carolina governor and Rep. Mark Sanford, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, and former GOP congressman and conservative radio host Joe Walsh are both challenging Trump in the Republican primary.

Here are all the major party candidates running for president in 2020:


Former South Carolina governor and Rep. Mark Sanford

Sanford announced on September 8, 2019 that he would launch a primary challenge to Trump, which marked the third challenge from within the president’s party.

The former congressman lost a primary in 2018 after emerging as a vocal critic of Trump, who in turn encouraged voters to vote against him.

In a “Fox News Sunday” interview announcing the challenge, Sanford said he thinks “we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican.”

“I think that as a Republican Party we have lost our way,” he added.


Former Tea Party congressman and conservative radio show host Joe Walsh.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, FileIn this Nov. 17, 2010 file photo, then-Rep.-elect Joe Walsh, R-Ill., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Walsh, who served one term in Congress from 2011 to 2013, announced he would launch a primary challenge against Trump on August 25.

Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopolous, Walsh said, “We’ve got a guy in the White House who is unfit, completely unfit to be president and it stuns me that nobody stepped up, nobody in the Republican party stepped up.”

While Walsh initially voted for and supported Trump, he has since become one of Trump’s most vocal critics, calling Trump’s behaviour “narcissistic” and “childish.”


Billionaire financier and liberal activist Tom Steyer

AP Photo/Steven Senne, FileTom Steyer

Steyer, who is 62 and based in San Francisco, made his fortune as an investor and hedge fund manager – but has since focused his efforts on advancing progressive causes with two organisations: Need To Impeach, and NextGen America, the latter of which is focused on combating climate change.

In January 2019, Steyer said he did not plan to run for president and would be “dedicating 100% of my time and effort in 2019 towards Mr. Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.”

But Steyer since changed his mind, making a late entrance into the 2020 field with a video announcement on July 9 and planning to spend at least $US100 million of his own money on his campaign.


Read more about Tom Steyer’s campaign.


Former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania

Matt Rourke/APFormer Democratic congressman Joe Sestak meets with supporters during a news conference, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Sestak, a former two-term congressman from Pennsylvania and Navy admiral, became the 25th candidate to join the 2020 field on June 22, missing the deadline to qualify for the first Democratic debates.

After retiring from the House in 2010, Sestak unsuccessfully ran for US Senate in Pennsylvania both in 2010 and 2016, famously walking over 400 miles across Pennsylvania during his second Senate run.

In his announcement video, Sestak emphasised his 31 years of military service as an important qualification to serve as president, saying, “when faced with the decision on whether to use our military, our commander in chief will know how it will end before deciding if it is wise to begin.”


Read more about Joe Sestak’s campaign.


Mayor Bill De Blasio of New York City

AP Photo/Richard DrewNew York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray

De Blasio announced his presidential run on “Good Morning America” and with a video posted to social media.

The New York mayor is the 23rd candidate and the third New Yorker to jump into the Democratic field, joining Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand and Andrew Yang.

De Blasio is best known for his ambitious progressive policy proposals aimed at reducing income inequality and increasing the amount of affordable housing in New York by taxing the city’s wealthiest residents.

His gruff and often blustery approach, however, has made him highly unpopular both among New Yorkers and the Democratic primary electorate.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in April found he has an underwater approval rating within his own city, and a Monmouth University poll released in March found that of 12 declared and potential Democratic presidential candidates, De Blasio was the only one to receive a negative favorability rating.


Read more about Bill de Blasio’s campaign.


Governor Steve Bullock of Montana

AP Photo/Charlie NeibergallSteve Bullock

Bullock, the Democratic governor of Montana, announced he’s running for a president on May 14th, the 22nd Democratic contender and the third governor to join the field.

In an announcement video posted online Tuesday morning, Bullock highlighted his work passing bipartisan legislation to ban corporate money in Montana’s elections as governor.

Bullock argues he brings unique strength to the table as a Democratic governor who was re-elected the same year Trump won his state by 20 points – and has since achieved progressive victories including expanding Medicaid and freezing university tuition in the spring 2019 Montana legislative session.


Read more about Steve Bullock’s campaign.


Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado

AP Photo/David Zalubowski, FileSen. Michael Bennet

Bennet, the 21st Democrat and seventh US senator to announce a 2020 presidential campaign, is currently serving his second elected term as Colorado’s senior senator.

“I think this country faces two enormous challenges,”Bennet said about his decision to run on “CBS This Morning”.

“One is a lack of economic opportunity and mobility for most Americans and the need to restore integrity to our government.”

As a senator, Bennet has mainly been known for his quiet intellect, bipartisan legislative achievements, and affable demeanour.

But this January the usually demure Bennet went viral for an uncharacteristically fiery and passionate speech on the Senate floor slamming Sen. Ted Cruz for shedding “crocodile tears” over the then-ongoing government shutdown.


Read more about Michael Bennet’s campaign.


Former Vice President and Senator Joe Biden of Delaware

Associated Press/Nati HarnikFormer Vice President Joe Biden.

After months of teasing a presidential run, Biden officially entered the race with a video announcement on April 25, the 20th Democratic candidate to join the Democratic field.

“…if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are, and I cannot stand by and watch that happen,” Biden said in his announcement.

Biden, 77, enters the race as a frontrunner with unparalleled name recognition among Democratic primary voters, leading nearly every single pre-primary poll conducted before he officially declared his candidacy.

Biden, who served as President Barack Obama’s Vice President for eight years and a US Senator for 36, is drawing on his blue-collar roots and close ties to organised labour to directly challenge Trump in Rust Belt states he carried in 2016.

The former vice president, who has been in politics for almost 50 years, will still have to contend with some of the more controversial aspects of his record, and make the case for his candidacy in the largest and most diverse Democratic presidential primary field in recent history.


Read more about Joe Biden’s campaign.


Former Governor Bill Weld of Massachusetts

AP Photo/Juan LabrecheFormer Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld

Weld, who served as Massachusetts’ governor in the 1990s and was more recently on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016 as presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s running mate, announced his campaign on April 15.

“It is time for patriotic men and women across our great nation to stand and plant a flag. It is time to return to the principles of Lincoln – equality, dignity, and opportunity for all,” he said in his announcement statement.

“There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight.”


Read more about Bill Weld’s campaign.


Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Ryan, who represents Ohio’s 13th congressional district in eastern Ohio, announced he’s running for president during an April 4 appearance on “The View.”

A moderate Democrat who has served in the House since 2003, Ryan is best known for his passionate advocacy on behalf of Midwesterners who have suffered from the decline in manufacturing jobs in the region.

On his campaign website, Ryan says that “failed leadership and broken promises have destroyed the middle-class, forcing our economy into crisis and pushing the American Dream out of reach.”

Ryan was also one of the key leaders of an unsuccessful effort spearheaded by moderate Democrats to block Nancy Pelosi from becoming Speaker of the House after Democrats took back control of the chamber in 2018.


Read more about Tim Ryan’s campaign.


Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam

AP Photo/Brynn AndersonIn this Wednesday, March 27, 2019 photo, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam poses for a portrait, in Miramar, Fla

Messam announced his long-shot bid for the presidency on March 28, the 16th candidate, third mayor, and first person from the southeast to jump into the Democratic primary field.

“The American Dream my parents sought when they came from Jamaica with just a 5th-grade education is fleeting,” he wrote on the day of his announcement. “Together, we can put the American Dream back within reach for all.”

Messam, 44, has served as the mayor of the city of Miramar, which is located in South Florida and boasts a population of 140,000 people, since 2015.

He previously served as a city commissioner from 2011 to 2015, and founded a construction company with his wife.


Read more about Wayne Messam’s campaign.


Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas

Associated PressFILE – In this Feb. 5, 2019, photo, former Democratic Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke laughs as he is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Beto O’Rourke formally announced his candidacy for president on March 14, ending months of speculation over his presidential plans.

“The only way for us to live up to the promise of America is to give it our all and to give it for all of us,” he said in a video announcing his candidacy alongside his wife Amy.

“The interconnected crises in our economy, our democracy, and our climate have never been greater,” O’Rourke added. “And they will either consume us, or they will afford us the greatest opportunity to unleash the genius of the United States of America.”

The three-term congressman from El Paso broke fundraising records and became a national sensation in the fall of 2018 when he came within three points of defeating Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, a traditionally red state.


Read more about Beto O’Rourke’s campaign.


Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty ImagesBernie Sanders, then a Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at a rally at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2016.

Bernie Sanders will be competing for the Democratic nomination for the second time, he announced on February 19.

The 77 year-old Vermont senator, who is officially an independent but caucuses with Democrats in Congress, and former Burlington mayor has been a progressive stalwart for decades and built up a strong base of support for his platform in 2016 despite falling short to Hillary Clinton in the primary.

“Our campaign is about more than beating Donald Trump,”he said in his announcement video. “It’s about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice.”

This time around, Sanders will face much stiffer competition in a Democratic field that could hold over 20 candidates – many of whom are running on platforms that emphasise his signature issues of reducing income inequality and the power of big corporations in America.


Read more about Bernie Sanders’ campaign.


Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty ImagesUS Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announces her candidacy for president in a heavy snow fall on February 10, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. – Klobuchar joined the ever-growing field of contenders hoping to unseat President Donald Trump in the 2020 White House race.

On February 10, three-term US Senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar became the 12th Democratic candidate and 6th woman to jump into the 2020 field.

In true Minnesota fashion, Klobuchar announced her candidacy at an outdoor event during a blizzard, giving her speech without a hat, gloves, or a teleprompter.

Klobuchar is counting on her reputation as a measured, pragmatic moderate with a “Minnesota nice” demeanour to dominate among Midwestern voters – and pose a stark contrast to President Donald Trump.

Her campaign rollout may be hampered, however, by recent reports published in BuzzFeed News and the Huffington Post detailing alleged mistreatment and humiliation of her staff. According to one report, three people turned down the job of running her campaign over those allegations.

Read more about Amy Klobuchar’s campaign.


Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Jacquelyn Martin/APSen. Cory Booker announced his run for President on February 1.

Cory Booker, the 11th Democrat to jump into the race, officially announced his candidacy for President on February 1.

Booker has served in the US Senate since 2013, and is known for his liberal voting record and emphasis on social and criminal justice issues. He played a key role in passing a large bipartisan criminal justice bill, the First Step Act, in December.

Before being elected to the Senate, booker served two terms as Mayor of Newark, New Jersey where he still resides. He holds a degree from Stanford University, where he played on the football team, and a law degree from Yale University.


Read more about Cory Booker’s campaign.


Motivational speaker, author, and friend of Oprah Winfrey Marianne Williamson

Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty ImagesMarianne Williamson during her 2014 congressional campaign

Marianne Williamson, a motivational speaker, New York Times best-selling author, and one-time congressional candidate with a substantial following announced her candidacy for president on Monday night.

Williamson, the 10th Democratic candidate to jump into the race, began speaking and writing self-help books rooted in New Age spirituality in Los Angeles in the 1980s. She’s also been heavily involved in AIDS awareness and advocacy efforts.

A 1992 appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show helped launch her into Hollywood’s elite class as the preferred spiritual guide for many in the entertainment world.

Her first foray in politics was an independent run for Congress in California’s 33rd congressional district in 2014. She ended up losing to current Rep. Ted Lieu, but is now launching a bid for the highest office in the land.


Read more about Marianne Williamson’s campaign.


Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana

AP Photo/Alex SanzPete Buttigieg speaks at the Democratic National Committee Winter Meeting in Atlanta in February 2017.

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination on January 23, 2019 via a video and email sent to his supporters.

The mayor just turned 37, making him the youngest entrant (so far) in the battle for the Democratic nomination. Buttigieg is also the only openly gay candidate to date in the running.

Along with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Buttigieg is one of three military combat veterans running for the Democratic nod, having served with the US Naval Reserve in Afghanistan in 2013.

In the video, Buttigieg, who is making the jump from city to national politics, said he belongs to “a generation that is stepping forward right now.”

“We’re the generation that lived through school shootings, that served in the wars after 9/11, and we’re the generation that stands to be the first to make less than our parents unless we do something different,” he said in his announcement video.

Read more about Pete Buttigieg’s campaign.


Senator Kamala Harris of California

AP Photo/Alex BrandonHarris at a Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in June 2017.

Harris made her announcement on Martin Luther King Day, or January 21, via Twitter and her campaign website.

The Democratic senator for California is currently serving her first term in the Senate, similar to former President Barack Obama, who was initially criticised for his inexperience after he announced his 2008 presidential campaign as a first-term senator.

Prior to her role in the Senate, Harris was California’s attorney general and served as the district attorney of San Francisco.


Read more about Kamala Harris’ campaign.


Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

Eric Gay/AP PhotoJulián Castro announced his campaign for President on Jan. 12.

Julian Castro declared his candidacy on January 12 in a widely publicized announcement event in San Antonio, Texas, his hometown and where he served as mayor for five years.

Castro’s official announcement came weeks after his brother had revealed the news during an interview with Stephen Colbert in December.

Under Castro’s tenure, HUD expanded lead safety protections in federally assisted housing, worked to reconstruct communities affected by natural disasters under a $US1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, and fulfilled the Fair Housing Act.


Read more about Julian Castro’s campaign.


Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii

AP/J. Scott ApplewhiteRep. Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy for President on Jan. 11.

Gabbard announced her candidacy on January 11 in an interview with CNN’s Van Jones.

The Hawaii representative has been in Congress since 2012, and has been at times a rising star for progressives but also sometimes challenging to the rest of her party. Her positions on foreign policy, in particular, have at times put her at odds with many on the left over the past year or two.


Read more about Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign.


Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

AP Photo/Matthew PutneyThe Massachusetts Senator declared her intention to run on December 31, 2018.

On a video posted to her website on December 31, 2018, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warrenannounced that she was launching an exploratory committee for a presidential run in 2020. In the video, Warren – who has long been expected to run – described her vision of defending the middle class, which she said was “under attack.”

Warren quickly began recruiting top staff in key primary states including New Hampshire and Iowa, and has campaigned in those states, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.


Read more about Elizabeth Warren’s campaign.


Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

Andrew YangAmerican entrepreneur Andrew Yang announced his presidential candidacy on November 6, 2017.

Andrew Yang, an American entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America, announced his presidential candidacy on November 6, 2017.

Yang’s campaign prominently features giving all Americans a basic $US1,000 monthly income.


Read more about Andrew Yang’s campaign.


Former Representative John Delaney of Maryland

Business Insider/Mike NudelmanFormer Maryland Representative John Delaney declared his presidential bid on July 2017.

Former Maryland Representative John Delaney was the first major Democrat to declare a presidential bid.

Delaney, who was a US representative from 2013 to 2019, announced his decision to run on July 28, 2017.

In a Washington Post op-ed announcing his candidacy, Delaney said “The current administration is making us less prosperous and less secure. I’m running because I have an original approach to governing and an economic policy that can put us on a different course.”

Read more about John Delaney’s campaign.


President Donald Trump

YouTubePresident Donald Trump is running again.

President Donald Trump is seeking reelection in 2020. He announced his intentions to do so just days into his first term, on January 20, 2017.


Dropped out: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty ImagesNew York Kirsten Gillibrand.

Gillibrand began her political career as a moderate, blue-dog Democrat representing a conservative district in upstate New York.

She has made a name for herself as a strong progressive voice in the US Senate, in which she has served since 2009. Gillibrand has advocated for stronger policies around addressing sexual assault in the military, lowering healthcare costs, and decreasing economic and gender inequality.

Gillibrand ran a campaign centered around women’s empowerment with a focus on issues like paid family leave and reproductive rights, but failed to break out in the field or crack more than 1% to 2% in the polls.

She announced she would leave the race on August 28 after failing to qualify for the September primary debate.


Read more about Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign.


Dropped out: Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts

Brian Snyder/ReutersU.S. Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA).

Moulton, who has represented Massachusetts’ 6th congressional district since 2015, became the 19th Democrat to join the 2020 presidential field on April 22.

“I am running because I am a patriot, because I believe in this country and because I have never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it,” Moulton told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Before running for Congress, Moulton served in the Marine Corps and completed four tours of duty in Iraq. A relatively moderate Democrat, he focused his presidential campaign on issues of foreign policy and national security.

Moulton dropped out of the race on August 23 to run for re-election in the House after he failed to qualify for any Democratic primary debates.


Read more about Seth Moulton’s campaign.


Dropped out: Washington Governor Jay Inslee

AP Photo/Ted S. WarrenWashington Governor Jay Inslee

Inslee, who has served as governor of Washington since 2012, has held some form of public office for most of the past 30 years. The long-time lawmaker is billing himself as the “climate candidate.”

“I’m Jay Inslee and I’m running for president because I am the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation’s number one priority,” Inslee said in a video released March 1.

While governor, Inslee has made reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy a top priority.

The video also shows Inslee in the aftermath of wildfires as he says in a voiceover: “We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change. And we’re the last that can do something about it.”

After participating in the first two debates and putting climate change on the agenda as a crucial campaign issue, Inslee announced he would drop out of the race on August 21.

Read more about Jay Inslee’s campaign.


Dropped out: former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty ImagesFormer Governor John Hickenlooper.

Hickenlooper launched his 2020 presidential campaign on March 4, making the former Colorado governor the 14th Democratic candidate to enter the field.

Hickenlooper, 66, was highly popular as governor for two terms before being succeeded by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis. Before that, he served as mayor of Denver (a nonpartisan position) and was a successful businessman who founded Colorado’s first brewery pub, helping bring jobs and economic development to Denver.

Hickenlooper struggled to stand out as a viable centrist candidate in the shadow of Biden, however and dropped out of the presidential race on August 15, 2019.

A week later on August 22, Hickenlooper jumped into Colorado’s US Senate race to challenge vulnerable GOP. Sen Cory Gardner in 2020.


Read more about John Hickenlooper’s campaign.


Dropped out: former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel

AP Photo/Jim ColeMike Gravel in 2007.

Gravel, now 89, officially filed to run for president on April 2. His leftist, anti-war presidential campaign was originally a protest campaign with the goal of simply raising enough money for Gravel to qualify for the first Democratic debates, but he’s now running to win.

The Gravel campaign is running on a platform of anti-imperialist and leftist principles, and is being managed by three teenagers from New York, who are innovative-ly using Twitter to get out the former senator’s message.

After failing to make any of the debates, Gravel dropped out of the race and endorsed Sanders on August 6, 2019.


Read more about Mike Gravel’s campaign.


Dropped out: California Congressman Eric Swalwell

AP Photo/Alex BrandonRep. Eric Swalwell in a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Swalwell, who has represented California’s 15th Congressional district since 2013, announced the launch of his presidential campaign on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on April 8.

The 18th Democrat to jump into the race, Swalwell ran a campaign largely focused on reducing gun violence in America and directly taking on the National Rifle Association, an organisation he sees as directly contributing to gun violence.

Swalwell currently serves on the high-profile House Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee and has been actively involved in those committees’ investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

On July 8, Swalwell dropped out of the 2020 presidential race to run for re-election in the House after failing to break through 1% in the polls and disappointing second-quarter fundraising performance.


Read more about Eric Swalwell’s campaign.


Dropped out: West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda

Dylan Vidovich/The Logan Banner via APRichard Ojeda, a former Democratic candidate for West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional district, is no longer running for president.

Richard Ojeda, a member of the West Virginia Senate, announced he was running for the presidency on November 11, 2018. He ran for Congress in West Virginia’s third congressional district in 2018, losing to Republican Carol Miller.

However, on January 25, 2019, Ojeda dropped out of the presidential race after resigning from the State Senate.

Mariana Alfaro contributed to a previous version of this report.

Read more:

Trump has implemented much of his conservative agenda through executive power – and it could be easily undone if a Democrat wins in 2020

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.