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There are so many people running for the Democratic ticket in the Presidential election we can’t keep track of who they are. There are the repeat candidates like Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden with political resumes that are miles long. Then there are familiar faces like Julian Castro and novices like Tulsi Gabbard who are proposing new strategies to address hot button issues from healthcare to immigration. Each of them want to keep Republican President Donald Trump from winning a second term. All of them are playing to win.   

Out of 29 candidates 19 are left to date. With front-runners like Sanders recovering from a heart attack and others falling behind with fundraising (ahem Kamala Harris) it’s time to figure out who’s who and what they’re promising. This is a list of  twelve candidates who are taking the stage at the Democratic debates on October 15. We’re sharing their positions on the biggest issues Latinos are reported to care the most about. That would be education, the economy and healthcare. Immigration was actually low on the list back in 2016, so we’re leaving it out for now. Check out our purposely, oversimplified cheat sheet below.

Joe Biden

Biden was Obama’s Vice President from 2008-2016. People assumed he would run in 2016 but he took a pass to focus on his sick son. He was a Delaware Senator from 1973-2009. This is his third bid for President. He ran in 1988 and 2008. His awkward touchy feely behavior with women is an issue, but he’s still a contender.

On education: Supports investing in early childhood education, trade and skill certificates for high school students and raising teacher salaries.

On the economy: He wants to protect unions, repeal Trump’s tax cuts, and eliminate tax breaks for special interest groups.

On healthcare: Is in support of a free public health care option.

Corey Booker

A Stanford and Yale grad, the one time tenant organizer was Mayor of Newark, NJ and became a senator in 2013.

On education: He supports universal pre-K, raising teacher salaries, tuition free community college and fixing the student debt crisis.

On the economy: He wants to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, have companies to share earnings with workers, and create baby bonds to help close the wealth gap.

On healthcare: He stands with “Medicare for All”, lower prescription drug costs, and paid parental leave.

Pete Buttiegieg

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana (as well as the youngest) is a military veteran who worked to create economic and housing opportunities in his Midwestern town. He is the first openly gay Presidential candidate to date. 

On education: Among other things, he wants to increase federal resources to Title I schools, invest in historically black colleges, revise the qualifications that allow private colleges to get public money. 

On the economy: He wants to help students start small businesses, as well as invest in insurance coverage for uncovered workers.

On healthcare: He wants to extend Medicare to all those who want it, increase access to care in areas with limited hospitals, and improve infant and maternal health care.

Julian Castro

The former HUD secretary during the Obama administration is the only Latino running for the Democratic ticket. He is the former mayor of San Antonio, Texas. He regularly releases his “People First” policies to the public.

On education: He wants to update school infrastructures and tech, invest in music, arts and language education, make public colleges free and revamp loan forgiveness programs.

On the economy: He is for protecting farm workers and union members, increasing tax credits for the middle class and supports equal pay for equal work.  

On healthcare: Castro believes in “Medicare for All”, increasing access to all forms of health care, and improving rural and high need areas access to care.

Tulsi Gabbard

She is a Congresswoman from Hawaii whose motto is “lead with love.” Gabbard is a combat veteran and practices the Hindu faith.  

On education: She wants to allow people to discharge student debt in bankruptcy and get rid of fees for colleges.

On the economy: She wants to hold financial markets accountable, reinstate consumer protections and invest in job creation.

On healthcare: Supports universal health care, private insurance options.

Kamala Harris

Harris has been in public service as California’s Attorney General since 2011. She ran for U.S. Senate in 2016. The Howard University alumn is known for her strict policies that made parents accountable for school truancy in her state. 

On education: Supports raising teachers salaries and tuition free community college, and investing in historically black colleges.

On the economy: Supports raising the minimum wage, closing the pay gap, increasing home ownership opportunities for minorities.

On healthcare: She supports Medicare for All, protecting womens reproductive rights and lowering prescription drug costs. 

Amy Klobucher

The Midwestern lawyer from Minnesota has been a Senator from her state since 2007.

On education: Is in support of student borrowers refinancing their loans, loan forgiveness for certain trades, tuition-free community college. 

On the economy: She believes in raising the minimum wage, improved childcare, and is in support of small businesses.  

On healthcare: She favors universal health care and a public health insurance option, and wants to address mental health and addiction issues. 

Beto O’Rourke

This U.S. Congressman from Texas tried to unseat Ted Cruz in the Senate. Although he lost he gained enough national momentum to launch a Presidential bid. As a Democrat from El Paso he grew up in a political family and started his own software company. 

On education: Supports universal pre-K, raising teacher salaries, diversifying the profession and giving federal funds to in-need schools.

On the economy: Creating tax policy that gives the middle class a boost, raising the minimum wage, creating jobs that provide a livable wages.

On healthcare: Is in support of universal health care, protecting womens’ reproductive rights and improving maternal and infant health.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders has been a Vermont Senator since 2007. He challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and lost. He is a Democratic Socialist and is seen as a front runner because of his radical ideas. He had a recent heart attack which has put a major pause on his campaign.  

On education: Sanders wants to eliminate student loan debt, make public college tuition free, and improve public education.

On the economy: He believes in taxing “extreme wealth” or the .1% of people who make $32 million or more. 

On healthcare: He literally wrote the plan for Medicare for All that would provide all citizens with universal healthcare. 

Tom Steyer

The California native is a financial guru and “self-made billionaire” turned philanthropist. He’s poured his wealth into climate change and social justice causes. His platform boils down to “5 rights”: the right to an equal vote, clean air and water, right to learn, a living wage and decent healthcare. 

On education: Steyer favors universal pre-K, quality public education and an increase in pay for teachers. He also supports a reform to loan forgiveness and loan system.

On the economy: He wants to restore healthy competition, government policies that aren’t influenced by lobbyists and an economy that works for people, not just corporations.

On healthcare: He supports universal healthcare. 

Elizabeth Warren

The Massachusetts senator has been in office since  2013 and was Obama’s Special Advisor during his first term. The former Harvard law professor made headlines for lying about her Native American ancestry and is regularly taunted by Trump about it. Warren is one of the only candidates who has an official position on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis and wants to end the electoral college.

On education: She is in support of cancelling student debt and making public colleges tuition free.

On the economy: She wants to “put people over profit”, raise the minimum wage, expand worker protections. 

On healthcare: She supports “Medicare for All”, lower prescription drug rates, easier access to healthcare and more community centers in areas that lack hospitals.

Andrew Yang

A former dot com entrepreneur and non-profit The non-profit is setting himself apart for promoting his “Freedom Dividend” which would provide $1,000 a month to adults over 18 to compensate for job opportunities taken by automation. He’s managed to raise $10 million in campaign funds in just a few months.

On education: He supports investing in vocational training for young people, early childhood education, and create more opportunities in selectie schools.

On the economy: Aside from his Freedom Dividend, Yang supports “Human Capitalism” which will prioritize people instead of profit.

On healthcare: He supports Medicare for All, as well as a holistic approach to healthcare treatment.

About The Author

Jessica Rodriguez

Besides putting pen to paper for ‘LLERO Jessica is a co-founder. She is a seasoned writer, editor and journalist who has successfully peddled her words across media platforms from Urban Latino, Latina and Cosmo Latina, since picking up her professional pen in 1999.

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