2016 Candidates

Ben Carson


Dr. Ben Carson was born in Detroit on September 18, 1951. He earned a degree in Psychology from Yale University and worked as an X-ray technician, a bank teller, and school bus driver prior to enrolling in medical school at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, after which he completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, specializing in neurosurgery. He stayed at Johns Hopkins for 29 years, becoming the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He retired in 2013. In 2014, Carson announced his affiliation with the Republican party. He and wife Lacena (“Candy”) have three children.

Ben Carson announced his campaign for the presidency on May 4, 2015.

Visit Ben Carson’s website.

Bernie Sanders


Bernard “Bernie” Sanders was born in Brooklyn, NY on September 8, 1941. He attended Brooklyn College, but transferred to the University of Chicago and earned a BA in Political Science in 1964. Returning to the United States after time in Israel, he moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter, filmmaker, and writer. In 1981, he was elected Mayor of Burlington, VT. Sanders was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (for Vermont’s at-large House district) in 1990 and served for 16 years before winning election to the U.S. Senate in 2006 (he was reelected in 2012). A self-described democratic socialist, Sanders is the longest-serving independent legislator in U.S. history. He and his wife Jane live in Vermont with their four children.

Bernie Sanders announced his campaign for the presidency on April 30, 2015.

Visit Bernie Sanders website.

Bobby Jindal — Suspended


As of November 17, 2015, Bobby Jindal suspended his bid for the presidency. 

A native of Baton Rouge, LA, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, was born on June 10, 1971 to Indian immigrants. He earned a degree in biology and public policy at Brown University and went on to earn an Masters of Letters in political science from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He joined the consulting firm of McKinsey and Company and then interned for Representative Jim McCrery. In 1996, Jindal was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and in 1999, he was appointed President of the University of Louisiana. President George W. Bush selected Jindal as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, but he left the position in 2003 to run for Governor of Louisiana. He lost that race, but decided instead to seek election to the U.S. House of Representatives for Louisiana’s first congressional district. He won that election and was reelected in 2006. In 2007, he was elected to be the 55th Governor of Louisiana and he was reelected in 2011. Jindal is married to wife Supriya and the couple has three children.

Bobby Jindal announced his campaign for the presidency on June 24, 2015.  He suspended his campaign on November 17.

Visit Bobby Jindal’s website.

Carly Fiorina


Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was born on September 6, 1954 in Austin, TX. She went on to attend Stanford University, where she majored in philosophy and medieval history, graduating in 1976. She then earned an MBA in marketing and the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland College Park and Masters in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management. In 1980, she was hired AT&T and went on to rise to Senior Vice President of the company. In 1995, she led corporate operations for Lucent, a spin-off from AT&T. She was hired as CEO of Hewlett Packard in 1999 and served as Chairman and CEO for 6 years. Fiorina is recognized as the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 company. She ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, losing to incumbent Barbara Boxer. Fiorina and husband Frank currently live in Virginia.

Carly Fiorina announced her 2016 presidential campaign on May 4, 2015.

Visit Carly Fiorina’s website.


Chris Christie


Christopher James “Chris” Christie was born September 6, 1962. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1984 and went on to earn his law degree from Seton Hall University. Following law school, he practiced law until 2002, when he was appointed as a U.S. Attorney for New Jersey by President George W. Bush. In 2010 he was elected Governor of New Jersey, defeating incumbent Jon Corzine. He was overwhelmingly reelected in 2013. Christie gave the keynote address at the 2012 Republican National Convention and was elected Chair of the Republican Governors Association in 2013. Though his name was frequently mentioned as a possible 2012 presidential contender, he opted not to run.

On June 30, 2015, Chris Christie announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Visit Chris Christie’s website.

Donald Trump


Real estate developer and builder Donald Trump was born in Queens, NY on June 14, 1946. After starting college at Fordham University, he transferred to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a degree in Economics in 1968. Following graduation, Trump joined his father at the Trump Organization and, in 1971, relocated to Manhattan, where he became involved in a number of large building projects.   Among his defining projects is the 58-story Trump Tower in downtown Manhattan, which opened in 1982. Trump is currently married to his third wife, Melania, and has five children.

Donald Trump formed an exploratory committee in March 2015, and declared his presidential campaign on June 16, 2015 in New York City.

Visit Donald Trump’s website.

George Pataki – Suspended


Born on June 24, 1945, George Pataki was raised in upstate New York and attended Yale University. He completed his J.D. at Columbia Law School in 1970 and practiced law. In 1981, he was elected Mayor of Peekskill, NY; in 1984, he was elected to the New York State Assembly. Pataki went on to serve just one term in the New York State Senate (elected 1992) before running for Governor of New York and being elected to that position in 1994. He served 3 terms as Governor (1995-2007). Although he considered a presidential run in 2008 and 2012, he ultimately declined. He is married to Elizabeth (Libby) and the couple has four children.

On May 28, 2015, George Pataki announced that he is a candidate for the presidency.  On December 29, he announced that he was dropping out of the race.

Visit George Pataki’s website.

Hillary Clinton


Born October 26 1947 in Chicago, IL and raised in the Park Ridge suburb, Hillary Clinton attended Wellesley College, graduating in 1969 with Political Science major.  She went on to attend Yale Law School, earning a J.D. in 1973.  Following law school, she worked with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and, in the spring of 1974, she worked for the House Judiciary Committee, which was investigating alleged misconduct by President Nixon.  She subsequently moved to Arkansas to teach and practice law.  In 1992, her husband was elected as President and she served as First Lady from 1993-2001.  In 2000, she was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.  Following an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008, she joined the administration of President Barack Obama as Secretary of State, serving in that capacity from 2009-2013.

Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 presidential campaign on April 12, 2015.

Visit Hillary Clinton’s website.

Jeb Bush


John Ellis “Jeb” Bush was born in Midland, TX on February 11, 1953. Growing up in Houston, he attended the University of Texas, earning a degree in Latin American Affairs. In 1980, when his father became Vice President, he moved to Florida and pursued real estate. In 1986, he was named Florida Secretary of Commerce, but left the position to work on his father’s 1988 presidential campaign. He first ran for office in 1994, when he lost the race for governor. Running again in 1998, he was elected Governor, and reelected in 2002. He served as Governor of Florida from 1999-2007. Bush met his wife, Columba, during a student exchange summer program in Mexico. The couple has three children.

On December 16, 2014, Bush announced he would explore the possibility of running for President, and announced his candidacy on June 15, 2015.

Visit Jeb Bush’s website.

Jim Webb — Suspended


As of October 20, 2015, Jim Webb suspended his bid for the presidency. 

Jim Webb was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, on February 9th, 1946. After attending the Naval Academy, Webb served as an officer in the Marine Corp. Later, he studied at Georgetown University Law Center. He has served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs from 1984 until 1987, Secretary of the Navy from 1987-1988, and Senator of Virginia from 2007 until 2013. He currently lives in Virginia.

On November 19, 2014, Webb announced an exploratory committee for the 2016 presidential nomination.  On October 20. 2015, he announced that he was withdrawing from the race.

Visit Jim Webb’s website.

John Kasich


Born in McKees Rock, Pennsylvania on May 13, 1952, John Kasich currently serves as the 69th Governor of Ohio.  He attended Ohio State University, graduating with a degree in Political Science in 1974 and going on to join the Ohio Legislative Services Commission as a researcher.  From 1975 until 1978 he worked as administrative assistant to State Senator Buz Lukens.  Kasich was first elected to public office in 1978, when he became the youngest member ever elected to the Ohio State Senate at age 26.  In 1982, he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives; he was subsequently reelected 8 times, servicing from 1983 until 2001.  After dropping out of the 2000 presidential race in July of 1999, he joined Fox News as a commentator and host and became a managing director for Lehman Brothers (a position he maintained until the firm’s collapse in 2008).  Kasich was elected Governor of Ohio in 2010.  He is currently married to his second wife Karen; the couple has two daughters.

John Kasich announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination on July 21, 2015.

Visit John Kasich’s website.

Lincoln Chafee — Suspended


As of October 23, 2015, Lincoln Chafee suspended his bid for the presidency. 

Born on March 26, 2953 in Providence, RI, Lincoln Chafee received a degree from Brown University in 1975, majoring in Classics. Following college, he attended Montana State University to be a farrier and spent 7 years working at harness racetracks. He returned to Rhode Island and entered local politics in 1985. In 1992 he was elected Mayor of Warwick, RI. In 1999, his father (U.S. Senator John Chafee) passed away and he was appointed to fill the seat. He went on to win the seat in 2000 and served one term in the U.S. Senate as a Republican. In 2007, he announced that he was switching from Republican to Independent. Chafee was elected Governor of Rhode Island in 2010, a position he held until January 2015. In May 2013, he announced his affiliation with the Democratic party. Chafee lives in Rhode Island with his wife Stephanie. The couple has 3 children.

On April 9, 2015, Lincoln Chafee announced that he was exploring a 2016 presidential campaign. He formally declared his candidacy on June 3, 2015.  On October 23, 2015, he announced that he was withdrawing from the race.

Visit Lincoln Chafee’s website.

Lindsey Graham – Suspended


Lindsey Graham is currently the senior U.S. Senator from South Carolina. Born July 9, 1955 in Central, SC, he received his B.A. (1977 in Psychology) and J.D. (1981) from the University of South Carolina. In 1982, he was commissioned as an officer and Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force, serving until 1988 (most of this time was spent in Germany). Upon returning to the United States, he practiced law until making a run for the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1992. He served one term. Graham was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, and elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002. He was reelected in 2008 and 2014. He is unmarried. Graham adopted his younger sister when their parents passed away.

On June 1, 2015, Lindsey Graham announced his campaign for the presidency.  He announced that he would end the campaign on December 21, 2015.

Visit Lindsey Graham’s website.

Marco Rubio


Marco Rubio was born on May 28th, 1971 in Miami, Florida. After attending University of Florida, Rubio went on to the University of Miami Law School. Rubio has served as West Miami City Commissioner, State Legislature, Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and speaker of the House in the Florida Legislature. He has also served as the Senator of Florida since 2010. He currently lives in Florida.

Speaking in Miami, Rubio declared his candidacy for the presidency on April 13th, 2015.

Visit Marco Rubio’s website.

Martin O’Malley


Born January 18, 1963 in Washington, D.C., Martin O’Malley is the former Governor of Maryland. He attended Catholic University, earning a degree in 1985, and University of Maryland School of Law, earning a J.D. in 1988. In 1991, he was elected Baltimore City Councilor (serving until 1999), and went on to become Mayor of Baltimore from 1999-2007. From 2007-2015, he served as Governor of Maryland. O’Malley and wife Catherine (Katie) have four children.

Martin O’Malley officially announced his 2016 campaign for the presidency on May 30, 2015.

Visit Martin O’Malley’s website.

Mike Huckabee


Mike Huckabee was born August 24th, 1955 in Hope, Arkansas. After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University, Huckabee went on to study at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1996 he became Governor of Arkansas, and would serve as Governor until 2007. He also served as the Chairman of the National Governor’s Association from 2005 until 2006, and was a Republican candidate for president in 2008. He currently lives in Florida.

Huckabee announced his campaign for the presidency on May 5, 2015 in Hope, Arkansas.

Visit Mike Huckabee’s website.

Rand Paul


Rand Paul was born on January 7th, 1963 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After attending Baylor University, Paul studied at Duke Medical School and began his ophthalmology practice. In 1995, Paul founded Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, and has served as Lions Clubs International’s President. He was elected Senator of Kentucky in 2010, and currently lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Rand Paul announced his campaign for the presidency on April 7, 2015.

Visit Rand Paul’s website.

Rick Perry — Suspended


As of September 11th, 2015, Rick Perry suspended his bid for the presidency. 

Born in Paint Creek, TX on March 4, 1950, Rick Perry attended Texas A&M, earning a degree in Animal Science. Following college, Perry joined the U.S. Air Force, serving from 1972 until 1977. In 1982, Perry married his wife Anita (the couple has two children). Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1984 and served 3 terms in the state legislature. He changed his party in 1989, and ran for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture in 1990, a position he held for two terms. In 1998, Perry was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas, and he became governor in 2000 when George W. Bush resigned after his election as president of the United States. Rick Perry served as Governor of Texas from 2000-2015; he is the longest-serving governor in the state’s history.

Rick Perry announced on June 4, 2015 that he is a candidate for the presidency in 2016.

Visit Rick Perry’s website.

Rick Santorum


Rick Santorum was born in Virginia on May 10, 1958, and raised in Butler, Pennsylvania. He attended Pennsylvania State University, and earned an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and a JD from Dickinson School of Law. Following law school, he worked as a lawyer at Kirkpatrick and Lockhart, where he met his future wife, Karen. The two married in 1990 and have seven living children (one child passed away). Santorum represented Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district from 1991-1995 and served in the U.S. Senate from 1995-2007 (he was the third most senior member of the Senate from 2001-2007), losing reelection in 2006. He was a candidate for the presidency in 2012, winning the Iowa caucus and ten other primaries or caucuses.

Rick Santorum announced his candidacy for the presidency on May 27, 2015.

Visit Rick Santorum’s website.

Scott Walker — Suspended


As of September 21st, 2015, Scott Walker suspended his bid for the presidency. 

Born November 2, 1967 in Colorado Springs, CO, Scott Walker is currently serving his second term as Governor of Wisconsin. Walker attended Marquette University, leaving in 1990 to work with the American Red Cross. From 1993-2002, he served in the state assembly, and was elected Milwaukee City Executive in a special election in 2002. After winning another 2 consecutive terms as City Executive, Walker was elected Governor in 2010, survived a recall effort in 2012, and was reelected as Governor in 2014. He and his wife Tonette have 2 children.

Walker formed an exploratory committee for the 2016 presidential race and declared his candidacy on July 13, 2015.

Visit Scot Walker’s website.

Ted Cruz


Senator Ted Cruz was born on December 22, 1970. He attended Princeton University, obtaining a degree in Public Policy in 1992. In 1995, he graduated with at J.D. from Harvard Law School and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He joined a law firm in Houston, where he worked from 1997 to 1998. From 1999-2003, he served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission and as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice. Cruz was appointed Solicitor General of Texas and served in that capacity from 2003-2008; he was also an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law from 2004-2009. In 2012, Cruz was elected to the U.S. Senate. He and his wife Heidi live in Texas with their two young daughters.

Ted Cruz declared that he was a candidate for the presidency on March 23, 2015.

Visit Ted Cruz’s website.