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Who’s Running for President in 2016?

Here’s a look at potential and current Republican and Democrat contenders in the 2016 presidential race.



Jeb Bush was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, the first Republican governor to win re-election there. The son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of former President George W. Bush, he has had a long career in Republican politics, real estate and business. In addition, he has been active in conservative education causes.


Ben Carson RUNNING

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson won international acclaim for leading a team that in 1987 separated twins conjoined at the head. More recently, he rose to political fame after criticizing the Affordable Care Act at a 2013 event as President Barack Obama sat feet away. Since entering the race, Mr. Carson has been buoyed by Republican voters who want an outsider and who cheer his rejection of “political correctness.”


Chris Christie RUNNING

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former U.S. attorney, built a national following by challenging public-sector unions and for a style that has been by turns personable and combative. His recent stint leading the Republican Governors Association gave him contacts among GOP donors and leaders across the nation. After a series of scandal investigations and budget woes in New Jersey, his candidacy has struggled to gain traction.


Hillary Clinton RUNNING

Hillary Clinton served as President Barack Obama's secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, after losing the 2008 Democratic primary to him. Before that she represented New York in the U.S. Senate, and was Bill Clinton's first lady at the White House and in Arkansas. Since launching her campaign, she has taken positions at odds with those of her former boss on trade, the Keystone pipeline and other issues.



Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general, won election to the Senate in 2012. A hero to the tea party movement, he has been a critic both of Republican leaders and President Obama. He has criticized GOP leaders in Congress for what he describes as their willingness to compromise and cut deals with the White House, and his opposition to the 2010 health care law contributed to a partial government shutdown in October 2013.


Carly Fiorina RUNNING

Former Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive Carly Fiorina is the only woman running for the Republican presidential nomination. Ms. Fiorina has never held elected office, but advised John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and waged an unsuccessful bid in 2010 to unseat Democratic California Sen. Barbara Boxer. Republican voters have dismissed criticism of her performance leading HP, eager for a candidate they see as coming from outside the political establishment.


Jim Gilmore RUNNING

Jim Gilmore served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002 and now heads the Free Congress Foundation, a conservative policy organization. A former chairman of the Republican National Committee, he briefly sought the 2008 nomination but dropped out in 2007 after raising little money. Mr. Gilmore lost a 2008 Senate race to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, carrying about one-third of the vote.


Mike Huckabee RUNNING

Mike Huckabee served as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He previously hosted a Fox News talk show and is the author of 12 books. He campaigned for the Republican nomination in 2008, placing second behind eventual nominee Sen. John McCain. An ordained Southern Baptist minister, Mr. Huckabee is campaigning as a hardline social conservative and culture warrior.


John Kasich RUNNING

Ohio Gov. John Kasich served for nearly two decades in Congress. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, he played a key role in writing the balanced budgets of the late 1990s. He later worked as an investment banker and Fox News commentator before being elected governor in 2010. His backers say his electoral success in the key swing state of Ohio would make him a formidable contender in the 2016 general election.


Martin O'Malley RUNNING

Martin O'Malley was governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015 and mayor of Baltimore for eight years before that. He has long harbored national political ambitions, gaining a platform as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association from 2011 to 2013. He signed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, outlaw capital punishment, and allow some undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at state universities.



Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist elected to the Senate in the tea party wave of 2010, has challenged some of his party's traditional policy stances, taking a more skeptical view of U.S. military interventions abroad than have many Republicans. Mr. Paul is the son of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian icon who ran multiple long-shot campaigns for president.


Marco Rubio RUNNING

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio embodied the tea-party wave in 2010 when he toppled the heavy favorite, former Gov. Charlie Crist, in the race to fill a vacant Senate seat. The son of Cuban immigrants quickly established himself as a leading voice for a younger generation of Republicans, at a time when the party was desperate to diversify. Many conservative activists bristled when he helped assemble a sweeping immigration bill that granted legal status, and eventually citizenship, to people in the country illegally.


Bernie Sanders RUNNING

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is an avowed socialist and one of the most liberal members of the Senate. Mr. Sanders, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was elected as an independent to his state's single House seat in 1990 and to the Senate in 2006. Previously he was mayor of Burlington, Vt., and worked as a carpenter and writer and taught at Harvard and Hamilton College. He would be the first Jewish president.


Rick Santorum RUNNING

Rick Santorum is a former Pennsylvania senator who lost a re-election bid in 2006. He finished second to Mitt Romney in the 2012 race for the Republican nomination. Known as a social conservative who loudly opposes same-sex marriage, Mr. Santorum has also focused on the financial plight of America's working class.


Donald Trump RUNNING

Donald J. Trump is a New York real-estate and casino developer and reality television star known for his brash and flamboyant personality. Mr. Trump has never held political office but boasts of his negotiating skills, business acumen – and wealth. His candidacy has defied the expectations of the political and media establishment, as Republican voters frustrated with Washington look toward an outsider for the nomination

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