Watch Democratic debate live and meet the candidates for night 2

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Democratic presidential candidate former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, third from left, answers a question, during a Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Meet the candidates of tonight’s debate

Michael Bennet is a lawyer, businessman and politician currently serving as a senior U.S. Senator from Colorado since 2009. Bennet, who announced his bid for the presidency just last month, has previously advocated to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on behalf of dairy farmers facing poor economic conditions. Bennet was one of very few Democratic Senators who supported construction of the controversial Keystone pipeline, voting for it three times.
Joe Biden was the 47th vice president of the United States. Prior to his two terms as vice president, Biden served as a United States Senator representing Delaware for nearly 40 years. Before being added to Barack Obama’s presidential ticket in 2007, Biden garnered some controversy saying Obama was “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” If he won the presidency, Biden would be 77 years old on election day.
Pete Buttigeg has served as the mayor of South Bend Indiana since 2012. Buttigeg has been said to appeal among many who have never been represented in a presidential bid. The military veteran, a gay man, a Rhodes Scholar and a millennial, Buttigieg has similar platforms as many of his Democratic opponents such as pro-environmental policies, preserving the DACA program and reforms that would end gerrymandering as well as the Electoral College.
Kirsten Gillibrand is a junior U.S. Senator serving New York since 2009. Prior to a career in politics, Gillibrand was a lawyer and later served as the leader of the Women’s Leadership Forum, a program of the Democratic National Committee. Gillibrand has a 100 percent rating from the NRA, a rarity for many Democrats, and has previously advocated for civil unions for same-sex couples, saying that same-sex marriage issue should be decided at the state level.
Kamala Harris is a junior United States Senator for California since 2017. Prior to her current position, Harris served as the 32nd Attorney General of California between 2011 and 2017, and also served as the 27th District Attorney of San Francisco beginning in 2004. In 2010, Harris took on truancy in San Francisco, prosecuting parents for the absence of their children in school. After Harris launched her bid for the presidency, she expressed regret for the prosecutions, saying that jail sentences of parents in multiple California counties were an “unintended consequence” of the state’s law .
John Hickenlooper is the former governor of Colorado who served in thea position from 2011 to January of 2019. Hickenlooper is a former geologist and brewing company co-founder who suffers from prosopagnosia , a cognitive disorder that impairs a person’s ability to recognize familiar faces, including their own. The 67-year-old has previously touted his support of the Green New Deal, despite previously advocating against regulations that would has kept oil companies away from parks and schools. He also famously opposed legalization of cannabis in Colorado until he began to see it as an “economic miracle.”
Bernie Sanders is one of the oldest Democrats with their hat in the 2020 presidential ring, however he also has one of the longest-running political careers among all of the presidential hopefuls. Beginning his political career as mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981, Sanders climbed his way up the political ladder, becoming the Chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. Sanders lost position of Democratic candidate to Hillary Clinton during the last presidential election. In March, he signed a “loyalty pledge” to the member of the Democratic Party, despite reports that he signed paperwork to run as an independent for reelection in Senate in 2024.
Eric Swalwell currently serves as the U.S. Representative for California’s 15th congressional district, a position he took in 2013. Swalwell was elected to the U.S. House in November 2012, defeating a 40-year incumbent who had held the office since 1973. Swalwell has previously advocated for increased funding for education and decreased funding for defense. Swalwell has also championed renewable energy jobs being created with federal stimulus money.
Marianne Williamson is an author and activist who has written 13 books. Although her career in politics hasn’t happened so far, she ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, where she finished fourth out of 16 candidates. In January of 2019, Williamson officially launched her presidential campaign. Among her political positions, Williamson has supported an increase in federal minimum wage, and has shown support for the Green New Deal. She previously opposes mandatory vaccines, calling the issue “Orwellian,” although she later backtracked, saying she misspoke.
Andrew Yang is a lawyer, entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America, a nonprofit that aims to revitalize America’s Rust Belt cities by encouraging entrepreneurs to move there and start businesses. Yang launched his presidential bid in late 2017, becoming one of the first. Yang is standing out from the crowd among members of Generation Z (the generation following millennials) because of his focus on the Freedom Dividend — a form of universal basic income (UBI), a somewhat bipartisan concept popular among young entrepreneurs, that would give everyone over the age of 18 $1,000 a month, to combat what many called the “robot apocalypse.”

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