UCF students take sides on 2016 Presidential Election
With the 2016 Presidential Election underway, UCF students can start to get a feel for who is running for president.
Sixteen candidates have officially declared their run for presidency, and more potential candidates are expected to announce their runs in the upcoming months.
All candidate information has been provided by Ballotpedia, an interactive almanac of U.S. politics and USA Today.
Competing for the democratic nomination are:
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Clinton formally announced her run for presidency in April and served as secretary of state under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. Prior to serving as secretary of state, Clinton represented New York in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009. She was also the first lady from 1993 to 2001 when her husband, Bill Clinton, served two terms as president.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sanders also announced his run in April. He currently represents Vermont in the U.S. Senate as an Independent and has served as a senator since 2007. Though he is an Independent, Sanders is a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Prior to serving as senator, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007. Sanders also served as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, from 1981 to 1989.
Former Governor of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee
Chafee announced his bid for the presidency in early June. He served in the U.S. Senate as a Republican for his home state of Rhode Island for seven years. After his father, Sen. John Chafee, passed away in 1999, he was appointed to fill his father's seat in the Senate. In 2000, he won a full six-year term to serve in the U.S. Senate. Chafee left the Republican Party in 2007, and was elected as governor of Rhode Island in 2010. He served as an Independent for a single term, and opted out of running for re-election for governor.
Former Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley
O'Malley declared his run in late May. He served as the mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. O'Malley was then elected as governor of Maryland and served from 2007 to 2015, and he concurrently served the chair of the Governor's Executive Council those same years. From 2013 to 2015, he was the co-chair of the Council of Governors.
Jim Webb declared his run for the presidency in July. Webb served as a U.S. senator from Virginia from 2007 to 2013. Prior to that, he served as the secretary of the Navy from 1987 and served in the United States Marines from 1968 to 1972.
Competing for the republican nomination are:
Fiorina announced her run for presidency in early May. In 2008, Fiorina served as a campaign adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain. She ran to represent California in the U.S. Senate in 2010, but was defeated by Sen. Barbara Boxer. Fiorina served as chairwoman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005, and is the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. She currently serves as chairwoman of the American Conservative Union Foundation.
Carson proclaimed his run in May. He is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon and the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. In 2004, Carson was appointed to serve on The President's Council on Bioethics under Bush. He gained popularity among conservatives after speaking at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.
Sen. Ted Cruz
Cruz announced his run in March via Twitter. He currently represents Texas in the U.S. Senate as a Republican. Prior to serving as senator, Cruz served as Solicitor General of Texas to supervise all litigation on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General. He also has clerked at the Supreme Court for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and worked with the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.
Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee
Huckabee also announced his run in May, and served as governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. Prior to serving as governor, Huckabee served as lieutenant governor of Arkansas from 1993 to 1996. He ran for president in 2008, but did not win the Republican nomination. Prior to his political career, Huckabee worked as a pastor and in broadcasting. After losing the nomination in 2008, he hosted a political talk show on Fox News titled Huckabee.
Sen. Rand Paul
Paul proclaimed his run in April. He currently represents Kentucky in the U.S. Senate as a Republican, and has served since 2011. He is the son of Texas congressman and former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Prior to seeking office, Rand Paul worked as an ophthalmologist.
Sen. Marco Rubio
Rubio also announced his run for the presidency in April. Rubio is a Republican senator who has represented Florida since 2011. Prior to serving as senator, Rubio was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2009.
Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush proclaimed his run in mid-June. He was the governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. His father, George Herbert Walker Bush served as the president of the United States from 1989 to 1993, and his older brother, George Walker Bush, served as president from 2001 to 2009.
Sen. Lindsey Graham
Graham declared his bid for the presidency in early June. He currently serves in the U.S. Senate for the state of South Carolina and has been serving since 2003. Prior to serving in the Senate, Graham represented South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. Graham is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Former Governor of New York George Pataki
Pataki announced his presidential bid in late May through a video posted on his campaign website. He served as the governor of New York for three terms from 1995 to 2007. Prior to serving as governor, Pataki was the mayor of Peekskill, New York, and served in both the state Senate and the state Assembly.
Former Governor of Texas Rick Perry
Perry announced his run in early June through a video posted on his campaign website. He served as the governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, making him the longest-serving governor in the history of the U.S. since he left office. Prior to serving as governor of Texas, he served the state as lieutenant governor from 1998 to 2000. He served as Texas agriculture commissioner from 1990 to 1998 and represented the state in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1984 to 1990.
Santorum declared his presidential bid in late May. From 1995 to 2007, he served as a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. Prior to serving as senator, Santorum represented Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995.
Trump proclaimed his run for the presidency in mid-June. He is a real-estate mogul and reality television host of NBC's The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice. Trump founded Trump Entertainment Resorts, and he is the chairman and president of the Trump Organization.
Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie
Chris Christie threw in his hat for the race for the presidency in late June. He currently serves as governor of New Jersey and has held this position since 2009. Prior to serving as governor, Christie served as the U.S. attorney for New Jersey from 2002 to 2008.
Former Governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore
Jim Gilmore entered the presidential race in late July. He served as governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002 and served as attorney general of Virginia from 1994 to 1997. He has been chaired or participated as a member of numerous committees, boards and organizations such as the National Rifle Association, where he currently sits on the board.
Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal
Bobby Jindal declared his run for the presidency in late June. He was elected to serve as governor of Louisiana in 2007, and was re-elected to the position in 2011. Prior to serving as governor, Jindal represented Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2003 to 2007.
Governor of Ohio Jon Kasich
John Kasich entered the race for presidency in late July. He is currently the governor of Ohio. Prior to serving as governor, Kasich represented Ohio’s 12th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 2001. Before serving in the House, he served in the Ohio State Senate from 1979 to 1983.
Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker
Scott Walker announced his run for the presidency in mid-July. He was elected to serve as governor of Wisconsin in 2010. Before serving as governor, Walker was a member of the Milwaukee County Executive from 2002, and a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1993 to 2002.
With announcements and information piling up about the candidates for presidency, students are already garnering their own opinions.
"I would vote for Rand Paul at this point. I like the idea that he is a new Republican face. I am not Republican nor a Democrat, but I like Rand because both sides seem to be dropping the ball," said Collin Burdsall, a sophomore political science major.
Alex Bravo, a senior political science major, said he was nervous about the candidates for the 2016 election, as they seem inexperienced and too far to the right.
Bravo also said that if Jeb Bush decides to run, he would have a good chance of winning the Republican nomination. He added that if Bush does not run, then Rubio would get the Hispanic vote and win the Republican nomination.
"The Democratic candidate that only seems to stick out is Hillary Clinton, and her past seems to be full of scandals," he said. "In my heart, I want either Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush to win, but in my head I know elections are a popularity race and Hillary Clinton and the Democrats will win."
Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @atticus_adrift or email him at EricG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.