Unbeknownst to many, there is more than one Democratic presidential candidate. But wait, there’s more. The Assumed Candidate might not even be the best one for the job. Here’s a brief look at the candidates so often left out of the conversation.
Senator Bernie Sanders
If anyone walks the talk, it’s the US Senator from Vermont. Sanders has long been outspoken on the issues of climate change, income inequality, and campaign finance reform. Since announcing his candidacy in April, he has stated, “I think we need a political revolution in this country,” and “our country belongs to all of our people and not just a handful of billionaires.” And to prove he stands by his word (not to mention his moral code), Sanders will not accept unlimited Super PAC contributions and instead will rely on capped independent donations.
In 1990, Sanders was elected to the House of Representatives as an Independent after serving as the mayor of Burlington, VT where he was known for working across the aisle to achieve progressive ends. The self-described socialist has supported new gun control measures and opposed the invasion of Iraq, as well as the Patriot Act. Since his election to the U.S. Senate, Sanders has demonstrated his pro-environment stance by opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and supporting serious actions against climate change.
Governor Lincoln Chafee
The liberal Republican turned Independent turned Democrat has served as the Governor of Rhode Island, Senator of Rhode Island, and a visiting fellow for two years at Brown University. An early supporter of then Senator Barack Obama, Chafee was later a co-chair of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
Before entering politics as a Republican delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention and later as the Mayor of Warwick, Chafee received his BA in Classics from Brown and studied as a farrier at Montana State University. In 1999, Chaffee’s father, U.S. Senator John Chafee, died and the younger Chafee was appointed to his seat. A year later, Chafee won the election to a full term as Senator.
During his tenure, Chafee frequently criticized President Bush’s stance on the environment and voted against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He also supported tax increases in the reign of Bush-era tax cuts and an increase to the minimum wage.
Governor Martin O’Malley
During his tenure as Mayor of Baltimore, O’Malley set an aggressive agenda to combat the city’s high crime rate. He introduced CitiStat, a crime management program designed to track crime via GIS data and implement policy based upon these statistics. He later implemented a similar, statewide program (Maryland StateStat) as Governor of Maryland.
The long-time Democrat has supported same-sex marriage, abolished capital punishment in Maryland, and has taken a progressive stance on illegal immigration – allowing “new Americans” to acquire in-state college tuition under certain circumstances.
Over a month into his Presidential campaign, O’Malley has stated his support for clean and renewable energy has a way to create jobs and grow the economy. As Governor, he set aside 1 million acres of open space and supported an EPA rule to reduce carbon emissions by 30%. However, in 2013, O’Malley asked the EPA to grant a waiver to a cleaner-fuel mandate for Carnival Cruises after they threatened to pull operations from Baltimore.