Presidential Candidates Cross Wide Field of Experience

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The 2016 Presidential Election

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January 29, 2016

The next President of the United States will likely be a member of either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. The last President who didn’t belong to one of those parties was Millard Fillmore, a member of the Whig Party. Taylor was President in 1850–1853. Some presidential elections have featured prominent third-party candidates. The last such candidate to gain a significant number of electoral votes was George Wallace, in 1968.

Both major political parties are featuring multiple candidates running for President in 2016. The Democratic Party has, as of February 1, three declared candidates to succeed the incumbent President, Barack Obama, as the standard-bearer of their party. Those three declared candidates are the following:

  • Hillary Clinton, whose previous roles include First Lady (as wife of President of Bill Clinton, 1993–2001), Secretary of State (under Obama, 2009–2013), and Senator from New York (2001–2009). Clinton, a longtime lawyer, also ran for President in 2008, narrowly losing the nomination fight to Obama.
  • Martin O’Malley, who was Governor of Maryland in 2007–2015. O’Malley also was mayor of Baltimore (1999–2007).
  • Bernie Sanders, a Senator from Vermont, serving since 2007. He has also represented Vermont in the House of Representatives (1991–2007) and was mayor of Burlington, Vt., in 1981–1989.

Among the several candidates still in the race for the Republican Party nomination are these:

  • Jeb Bush, whose father (George Bush) and brother (George W. Bush) were both President. After careers in banking and real estate, Jeb Bush was Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007.
  • Ben Carson, a former doctor and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2008, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, serving since 2010. A former lawyer and U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, he delivered the keynote speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
  • Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, serving since 2013. A longtime lawyer, he is the first Latino-American to represent Texas in the Senate.
  • Carly Fiorina, the former Chief Executive of Hewlett-Packard. She ran for the U.S. Senate in California in 2010, losing out to Democrat Barbara Boxer.
  • Jim Gilmore. A former Virginia Attorney General and chairman of the Republican National Committee, Gilmore served as Virginia Governor from 1998 to 2002. He was also a counter-intelligence agent in the U.S. Army.
  • Mike Huckabee. A minister and former television talk show host, he was Arkansas Lieutenant Governor in 1993–1996 and then Governor in 1996–2007. He also ran for President in 2008, finishing third overall behind John McCain and Mitt Romney.
  • Ohio Governor John Kasich, serving since 2011. He was an Ohio State Senator in 1979–1983 and represented Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995–2001. A former investment banker, he also was a television commentator for a few years.
  • Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky, serving since 2011. Like Carson, he is a doctor. His father, Ron, is a previous presidential candidate.
  • Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida, serving since 2011. A lawyer and professor, he served as a city commissioner for West Miami and also served in the Florida House of Representatives, serving as Speaker for a time.
  • Rick Santorum, a former Senator from Pennsylvania. A lawyer, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991–1995 and in the U.S. Senate in 1995–2007. Santorum also ran for President in 2012, finishing second behind Mitt Romney.
  • Businessman Donald Trump. A longtime businessman, he was also a TV show host for more than a decade. He ran for President in 2000, on the Reform Party ticket, and won a couple of state primaries.

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David White