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This Week in SC
The current President is seeking re-election, urging citizens to “finish the job” in 2024. For over thirty years, Biden served as a Delaware Senator before serving as Vice President from 2009 to 2016. After beating incumbent Donald Trump in the 2020 election, President Biden has spent the past two years working to control the COVID-19 Pandemic with the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act to deliver on the promises made during his 2020 campaign. Already the oldest President in American history, Joe Biden would be 81 come Inauguration Day and 86 at the end of his second term, an issue that has led many voters to question whether he is fit for another four years as Commander in Chief.
Self-help author and former spiritual advisor to Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson is campaigning for the White House again after her unsuccessful 2020 run. During her 2020 campaign, Williamson called for financial reparations to Black Americans for slavery and for the creation of a Federal Department of Peace. This election cycle, Williamson is hoping to “bring an aberrational chapter of our history to a close, and to help bring forth a new beginning.”
Representative Dean Phillips, a Democrat from Minnesota, is seeking the party’s nomination, arguing that President Joe Biden’s age will prevent him from effectively running the country. He has attacked the Biden administration, arguing that “Bidenomics is not working. It is actually the opposite. It represents inflation [and] high prices.” Phillips is committed to bipartisanship and plans to include leaders from every end of the political spectrum in his cabinet, ensuring that there are “people of multiple perspectives that represent multiple communities.”
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Nephew to former President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is an environmental lawyer, a bestselling author, and a strong anti-vaccine advocate who announced his presidential campaign in April 2023. Switching from running as a Democrat to an Independent in September, he is focused on ending both censorship and corruption in America. RFK Jr. has also promised to ban fracking, a process that has been a hot-button issue in the climate debate for several years. Other members of the Kennedy Family have spoken out against RFK Jr., saying that they do not share his beliefs regarding COVID-19 or vaccines.
Green Party hopeful Jill Stein is seeking the nomination after unsuccessful Presidential runs in 2012 and 2016. Stein openly criticizes the Democratic and Republican parties, calling both “a threat to our democracy”. In a video announcing her campaign, the 73-year-old physician called for an economic bill of rights, guaranteeing the rights to employment, health care, housing, food and education. She also highlights anti-war ideals, calling for an end to what she described as “genocide in Gaza”. After her unsuccessful 2016 run, Stein was criticized by Democrats for taking over one million votes from Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in key swing states.
Dr. Cornel West
Independent candidate Dr. Cornel West announced his bid for the White House in June 2023, ensuring his nomination would “end the iron grip of the ruling class and ensure true democracy”. West’s platform calls for a movement of justice, truth, and love. Prior to launching his presidential campaign, West was a former Professor at Harvard University and Princeton University.
The twice-impeached GOP candidate is gearing up for his third presidential campaign in order to “make America great and glorious again.” Former President Donald Trump announced his candidacy in February 2023 despite refusing to admit his 2020 defeat which sparked the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection. During his four-year tenure as President, Trump appointed three of the six Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, slashed climate change provisions and rolled back LGBTQ+ rights. Winning the 2024 election would make Donald Trump only the second president in history to win two non-consecutive terms and the only President to have been criminally charged. Trump has promised to appoint a prosecutor to investigate Biden and his family upon his arrival to the Oval Office. Bolstered by a massive die-hard fan base, former President Trump remains hugely popular among Republican candidates.
After declaring his home state of Florida as the place where “woke goes to die,” Governor Ron DeSantis is seeking the GOP nomination in 2024. Known for his hard-line conservative legislation in the Sunshine State, DeSantis is hopeful he can take these policies to the national level. As Governor, DeSantis signed a 6-week abortion ban into law, heavily restricted LGBTQ+ rights and omitted the need for a permit to carry concealed weapons. Before becoming Florida’s Governor in 2019, DeSantis was a member of the House of Representatives where he was a key founder of the Freedom Caucus.
Native to South Carolina, Nikki Haley is a Republican who served as the first female Governor of the Palmetto State from 2011-2017. In 2017, she resigned from that role to serve in President Trump’s cabinet as US Ambassador to the United Nations. She announced her campaign for president in February 2023, focusing on economic and foreign policy issues as well as immigration. She is the GOP’s only female candidate.
The 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur from Cincinnati, Ohio is a Republican candidate who announced his campaign in February 2023. Ramaswamy, the son of Indian immigrants, is dedicated to downsizing several government agencies including the FBI and the Department of Education, ending the fight against climate change and ending birthright citizenship.
The former Governor of New Jersey announced his second presidential campaign mid-2023, claiming he is the only viable GOP candidate to beat Donald Trump. Once a close ally of Trump, Christie has been a vociferous critic since the 2020 election fraud claims. Christie does not support an abortion ban at the federal level, saying it should be left up to the states. If elected, Christie has said he would continue to fund Ukraine and put an end to illegal immigration.
Arkansas native and Trump critic Asa Hutchinson announced that he is seeking the GOP nomination in April 2023. Hutchinson has accused Donald Trump of dividing the Republican party, calling on him to drop out of the race due to his ongoing legal issues. Before being elected Governor of Arkansas, Hutchinson worked in the US House of Representatives where he served as a prosecutor in the impeachment trials of former President Bill Clinton. Following 9/11, Hutchinson was appointed to lead the Border and Transportation Security Directorate under the Department of Homeland Security.
One of the wealthiest candidates in the race, Doug Burgum of North Dakota is a software entrepreneur turned Governor interested in solutions and solving the problems America faces. Burgum has centered his campaign on issues of national security and the economy. As Governor, he signed a near-total abortion ban into law as well as several large tax cuts.
With a goal of “restoring our faith in God, freedom, and each other,” Texas businessman Ryan Binkley announced his presidential bid in April 2023. Binkley, who has no political experience, says that God came to him in a dream about eight years ago and told him to run for president and win. Binkley and his wife are co-founders of Create Church where he is the lead pastor.
John Anthony Castro
Tax consultant John Castro is making a run for the GOP nomination after several unsuccessful past political campaigns. Castro says all of his legislative proposals will cut spending and reduce the federal budget, something “our leaders have been doing wrong for years.” In June 2023, Castro sued Donald Trump for harassment, claiming he ordered the CIA to plant bugs in his car.
David Stuckenberg, an entrepreneur and former U.S. Air Force Strategic Policy Fellow has also filed and paid to appear on South Carolina’s GOP ballot come February. Stuckenberg’s administration would be about unity and transparency, adding that his military background, alongside his international security strategy, sets him apart from the other candidates.
The former Vice President announced his candidacy for President in 2023. Pence served as Governor of Indiana from 2013-2017 and in the House of Representatives from 2001-2013 prior to joining the Trump Administration in 2020. Since the end of the Donald Trump era, Pence has spoken out against him, saying that “no one who ever puts himself over the Constitution should ever be President of the United States,” regarding Trump’s attempts to get Pence to overturn the 2020 election and reject votes. Pence is a strong anti-abortion advocate aiming to reduce the size of the federal government as the 47th US President.
After an unsuccessful run for Governor of California in 2021, the conservative talk show host announced his bid for the GOP nomination in April 2023. He has focused his campaign on crime reform, racial harmony, and combating inflation. Elder, who was excluded from the August primary debates, has claimed that the system is rigged and is planning to sue the RNC for denying him the opportunity despite “exceeding their qualifications.”
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the only Black Republican in Congress, announced his campaign for the White House in May 2023 with goals of reducing spending and signing “the most conservative pro-life legislation” that he can. The Palmetto State senator has a history of rejecting bills that combat climate change and believes the Trump investigations are an anti-Republican pursuit. Prior to being appointed to his Senate position by competitor Nikki Haley, Scott served in both South Carolina’s State House and the US House of Representatives.