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Who’s running for president? See a rundown of the major 2024 candidates

Jan 10, 2024, 3:15 PM

This combo photo shows Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, left, in...

This combo photo shows Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, left, in Greenwood, S.C., and Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump in Conway, S.C., on Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo, File)

Donald Trump is the last major Republican presidential candidate after U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s exit from the race. The former president dominated the early-state contests and romped through elections held on Super Tuesday.

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden has easily won his party’s opening contests.

A look at the major candidates competing for the Republican and Democratic nominations, as well as the third-party contenders:

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FIELD

DONALD TRUMP

The former president announced his third campaign for the White House on Nov. 15, 2022, at his Mar-a-Lago resort, forcing the party to decide whether to embrace a candidate whose refusal to accept defeat in 2020 sparked the U.S. Capitol attack and still dominates his speeches.

The GOP front-runner remains hugely popular in the Republican Party, despite making history as the first president to be impeached twice and inciting the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Referring to himself as America’s “most pro-life president,” Trump nominated three conservative judges to the Supreme Court, paving the way for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, which had legalized abortion nationwide for nearly 50 years. Sweeping criminal justice reforms he signed into law in 2019 eased mandatory minimum sentences and gave judges more discretion in sentencing.

In March, Trump became the first former U.S. president to be criminally charged, facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of a hush-money scheme. Since then, he has been charged with 57 more felonies in three other criminal cases, accused of mishandling and unlawfully retaining classified documents and trying to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election.

His overwhelming win in the lead-off Iowa caucuses signaled his dominant position in the race for the GOP nomination. He went on to win New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY FIELD

JOE BIDEN

President Joe Biden formally announced his reelection campaign on April 25 in a video, asking voters for time to “finish this job.”

Biden, the oldest president in American history, would be 86 at the end of a second term, and his age has prompted some of his critics to question whether he can serve effectively. A notable number of Democratic voters indicated they would prefer he not run, though he is expected to easily win the Democratic nomination.

Biden, who has vowed to “restore the soul of America,” plans to run on his record. He spent his first two years as president combating the coronavirus pandemic and pushing through major bills such as the bipartisan infrastructure package and legislation to promote high-tech manufacturing and climate measures. He easily won the party’s earliest contests, in South Carolina and Nevada.

DEAN PHILLIPS

The Minnesota congressman is the first elected Democrat to challenge Biden for the nomination. After months of calling for a primary challenger, Phillips entered the race himself on Oct. 27 with a speech outside New Hampshire’s statehouse.

While Phillips has been effusive in his praise for Biden, the 54-year-old also says Democrats need younger voices to avoid a nightmare scenario where Trump wins another election next fall.

Phillips is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and heir to his stepfather’s Phillips Distilling Company empire, which holds major vodka and schnapps brands. He once served as that company’s president but also ran the gelato maker Talenti. His grandmother was the late Pauline Phillips, better known as the advice columnist “Dear Abby.”

INDEPENDENT BIDS

ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR.

The bestselling author and environmental lawyer announced on Oct. 9 that he was ending his Democratic presidential bid and instead launching an independent run.

A nephew of President John F. Kennedy and son of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, he initially launched a long-shot bid to challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination on April 19 in Boston. He said in announcing his party switch that he intended to be a spoiler candidate for both Biden and Trump.

Kennedy has emerged as one of the leading voices of the anti-vaccine movement, with public health experts and even members of his own family describing his work as misleading and dangerous. He has also been linked to far-right figures in recent years.

JILL STEIN

The environmental activist, whose 2016 third-party presidential bid was blamed by Democrats for helping Trump win the White House, says she is making another run for the nation’s highest office.

Stein announced Nov. 9 that she will again run under the Green Party banner. “I’m running for president to offer that choice for the people outside of the failed two-party system,” she said.

She ran against Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 as a Green Party candidate and received about 1% of the vote. Some Democrats said her candidacy siphoned votes away from Clinton, particularly in swing states like Wisconsin.

CORNEL WEST

The progressive activist and scholar announced Oct. 5 that he was ending his bid for the presidency under the Green Party banner and was instead running as an independent.

West wrote on X that he was running as an independent to “end the iron grip of the ruling class and ensure true democracy!” He added, “We need to break the grip of the duopoly and give power to the people.”

He initially announced in June that he would be running as a member of The People’s Party before soon switching to the Green Party.

WHO’S DROPPED OUT

Republicans: Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, radio show host Larry Elder, businessman Perry Johnson, former U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Texas and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

Democrats: Self-help author Marianne Williamson.

___

Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

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Who’s running for president? See a rundown of the major 2024 candidates