Meet the candidates running for the Democratic Party nomination

Meet the top 5 candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination

Wes Sanderson and Camryn Cutinello

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been a front-runner since he entered the race. He ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and so far has placed second in Iowa, and won the New Hampshire primary, and has won the popular vote in both states.

Sanders began his professional career in politics in 1981 when he ran for mayor of Burlington, Vermont. After that, he ran for the House of Representatives, where he served for 16 years before running for the senate in 2007, where he’s worked since.

Sanders has maintained his status as an independent throughout his political career and had referred to himself as a Democratic Socialist.

He has run a grassroots campaign, not taking a single dollar from a PAC (Political Action Committee) or a billionaire. As of Feb. 6, his campaign had raised a total of $121.3 million, with an average donation of $18.

Healthcare has been one of the main issues Sanders wants to tackle with his plan for Medicare for All, a single payer healthcare system modeled of the systems seen in many European countries. His proposal would guarantee healthcare for every American and would be paid for through a higher tax on the wealthiest Americans. The plan would save the average American money, as middle and lower class Americans would pay less in healthcare.

He had plans laid out fur numerous issues, including prescription drug prices, the criminal justice system, student debt and climate change. He plans to cancel out all student debt and also make all public colleges free for all Americans.

He also had stated numerous times that he plans to raise taxes for the top 1% and make major corporations such as Amazon pay their fair share of taxes. He has run on the idea that the government needs to work to help middle and lower class families and has formulated plans to accomplish that. To read more about his plans you can go to


Elizabeth Warren served as a special adviser under former President Barack Obama and first won her Senate seat in 2012, where she’s represented Massachusetts ever since.

Like Sanders, Warren identifies as a progressive Democrat and she is also running a grassroots campaign. Warren placed third in Iowa, earning her eight delegates, but did not reach viability in New Hampshire, so she received no delegates in New Hampshire.

Warren is running a grassroots campaign, running on donations from everyday Americans instead of super PACS. Warren has petitioned for Medicare for All, as explained in the above paragraph, and has proposals in place for lowering prescription drugs and tackling the opioid crisis. She has plans for canceling student debt and getting corporate money out of politics, as well as many other topics. To read more about her plans you can go to 


Amy Klobuchar took third place in New Hampshire, which surprised many after she had not won any delegates in Iowa. Klobuchar started her career as a prosecutor, she eventually ran for Hennepin County attorney in Minnesota. In 2006 she won her senate seat and had remained in the senate ever since.

Klobuchar has taken a more moderate approach to many issues. She comes from a working class family and has made it clear that her plans will help the middle class.

Her healthcare plan includes a public option, much like the Affordable Care Act, and she also has a plan for lowering prescription drugs. Klobuchar wants to rebuild American infrastructure and has a plan to help American farmers. For more information on her plans you can go to 


Candidate: Pete Buttigieg

Previous positions held and who he is: Former mayor of South Bend Indiana, naval lieutenant during the war in Afghanistan, first openly gay presidential candidate and would be the youngest president ever elected.

Current primary results: Finished first in Iowa Caucuses along with Bernie Sanders and second in the New Hampshire primary.

Pete on the issues: All the information below comes from mayor Pete and the Buttigieg campaigns website

Healthcare: Mayor Pete believes in the idea of universal health coverage, but mayor Pete is not for eliminating private insurance plans through employers. Mayor Pete’s plan “Medicare for All Who Want It”, would allow everyone to opt into a public healthcare program. Buttigieg believes the public option would force private insurers to compete and bring costs down. Buttigieg’s campaign has said his plan would cost about $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The program would be paid for by undoing the Trump tax cut.

Gun Policy: Buttigieg’s campaign has a 5-point plan to enact stronger gun policy. Mayor Pete would look to expand background checks to all gun sales. This would include purchases at gun shows which is currently not required.

Point 2 involves creating a nationwide “permit -to-purchase” licensing system to be implemented at the state level. Buttigieg has also said he would look to expand this system to include ammunition sales at a later date.

Point 3, closing the “default proceed” provision. The current federal gun laws give the FBI just three days to complete a background check for gun purchase. If the background check is not completed during this window, the sale is left to the discretion of the seller.

Point 4, requiring law enforcement notification when firearms are lost or stolen.

Point 5, encouraging safe storage practices of firearms.

Mayor Pete also supports legislation to restrict firearm ownership to those with convictions of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes and those convicted of a hate crime from purchasing weapons.

Education: Mayor Pete believes that access to higher education is necessary to thrive in today’s changing society. Buttigieg is the son of two educators, so the issue is close to his heart. Buttigieg wants to provide free public tuition for “80% of American families earning up to $100,000” and also “require states improve affordability for all students.”

Buttigieg also says he will tie Pell Grant funding to inflation to keep up with rising tuition and costs of living. Buttigieg will look to do this through guarantee funding through mandatory entitlement spending.


Candidate: Joe Biden

Previous position held and who he is: Joe Biden was the Vice President under Barack Obama and is a former U.S. Senator from Delaware.

Joe on the Issues: All the information for this article came from Biden’s campaign website

Healthcare: Biden has said that he wishes to build off the Obama era Affordable Care Act, without dismantling the private health insurance business.

Biden wants to give Americans a choice of a public option, like Medicare, without forcing those who want to keep their private insurance to join.

Biden also wants to cap premiums at 8.5% of a family’s income, in order to help save families an “estimated $750 per month.”

Biden wants to accomplish these goals by getting rid of the capital gains tax loopholes that benefit the ultra-wealthy.

Gun Policy: Biden touts his record against the NRA and the gun lobby across the trail. In 1993 he helped push though the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, commonly known as the Brady Bill.

Biden also secured a 10-year ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in 1994.

Biden states that if elected President, he would ban the making and sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Biden also says he would implement a buyback program for assault weapons and high-capacity magazines to reduce the number of weapons in the communities.

Biden, like Buttigieg, also supports closing “the gun show” loophole and requiring a background check for every gun sale.

Education: Biden’s plan for education beyond high school is geared towards helping the middle class. A group of people Biden believes has been forgotten under the current administration.

Biden hopes to invest in community colleges by providing two years of community college or job training without incurring any student debt.

Biden would look to create a new grant program to help community colleges offset costs and help their students better succeed.

Biden also wants to focus not just on college education, but workforce training programs.

Biden says he would invest $50 billion into high-quality training programs for those looking to go into the trades, or skilled jobs market.

Biden says his education plan as a whole would cost a total of $750 billion over ten years.

The Former Vice President says he plans to pay for this investment by “making sure that the super-wealthy pay their fair share.” Citing he would cap the stepped-up basis loophole and capping itemized deductions at 28% for the wealthiest of America