Who is running for president in 2024? Meet the candidates

As the campaigns takes shape, here are the names you need to know

Andrew Feinberg,Ariana Baio
Monday 13 November 2023 11:19 EST

Who is Ron DeSantis?

With less than two years remaining until US voters will decide who will serve as president of the United States from January 2025 to January 2029, former Republican government officials are starting to jockey for position in the coming fight for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, while at least two Democrats challenge President Joe Biden in a Democratic primary.

As the campaign takes shape, here are the names you need to know.

Joe Biden

Mr Biden is the current president of the United States and is now officially gunning for a second term, having announced his reelection bid in a video message on April 25.

Joe Biden

Mr Biden, 80, is the oldest person to ever serve as president and his lacklustre approval ratings fuelled speculation that he might stand down so a younger candidate could take up the Democratic Party mantle.

But the Democrats’ better-than-expected results in the 2022 midterms appeared to put new wind in Mr Biden’s sails before he officially announced his 2024 run

Donald Trump

Mr Trump, 77, officially filed paperwork with the FEC to declare himself a candidate in the 2024 election on November 15, 2022.

Mr Trump is the only US president to face two separate impeachment trials – one after fomenting a violent attack on the US Capitol in hopes of remaining in power despite losing the 2020 election to Mr Biden.

Donald Trump

He announced his candidacy at the same Palm Beach, Florida, location where FBI agents had conducted a search for stolen classified documents just three months earlier.

The ex-real estate developer-turned-television-presenter-turned-politician is hoping he can become the first ex-US chief executive to reclaim the White House since Grover Cleveland.

Mr Trump faces a series of obstacles on what was once assumed to be a smooth glide path to the GOP nomination, including several of his former top aides and at least one governor he once endorsed - and four criminal indictments.

Marianne Williamson

The self-help author and former spiritual adviser to television mogul Oprah Winfrey, who participated in several Democratic primary debates during the 2020 election, entered the 2024 race to challenge Mr Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I wouldn’t be running for president if I didn’t believe I could contribute to harnessing the collective sensibility that I feel is our greatest hope at this time,” she said.

Marianne Williamson

During her aborted 2020 presidential run, she garnered a measure of notoriety for making statements widely considered bizarre, such as a vow to make then-New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern the first head of government she would call as president, and an assertion that she would win the election by "harness[ing] love for political purposes" against Mr Trump.

Nikki Haley

On February 15, Ms Haley, 51, announced that she would enter the race.

In a video released by her campaign, she even went so far as to take a veiled swipe at Mr Trump by noting that “seven out of the last eight presidential elections” have seen the GOP candidate lose the popular vote.

Nikki Haley

Ms Haley is the former governor of South Carolina and spent two years as Mr Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations and during that time garnered some media attention for her sauve ability to avoid engaging with the controversies that engulfed Mr Trump’s administration while remaining in his good graces.

Although the former governor-turned-diplomat previously pledged not to throw her hat into the ring for 2024 if Mr Trump was still running, she appears to have thrown that non-campaign promise away.

She also said it is “time for a new generation of leadership” who will “rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose”.

Ron DeSantis

The current governor of Florida announced his campaign on May 24 after months of speculation by many in the GOP that he would be the perfect successor to Mr Trump.

His campaign kickoff suffered a slew of technical errors when it launched in a Twitter Spaces event with CEO Elon Musk.

Ron DeSantis

Mr DeSantis, 44, is a former Florida congressman who won his 2018 gubernatorial campaign after receiving a coveted endorsement from Mr Trump.

He is viewed by Republican pundits as a worthy avatar of the current “anti-woke” GOP and his star has been on the rise in conservative circles since he made a show of ending any and all pandemic-related restrictions and mandates in the Sunshine State.

When Mr DeSantis took the stage at his 2022 election victory party, supporters even chanted “two more years” in a nod to his potential status as a GOP presidential contender.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Mr Ramaswamy, a wealthy biotechnology entrepreneur and conservative activist, announced his intention to compete in the 2024 Republican primary during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s eponymous Fox News programme (before Mr Carlson’s acrimonious departure from the network).

Mr Ramaswamy, 37, is a Yale Law School graduate. He has become somewhat of a celebrity in right-wing circles for his denunciations of stakeholder capitalism, big tech censorship and critical race theory.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Last year, he founded Strive Asset Management, an “anti-woke” investment firm opposed to businesses that use environmental, social and corporate governance practices.

Robert F Kennedy Jr

Mr Kennedy Jr, a lawyer, vaccine-sceptic and the son of US Senator Robert F Kennedy, filed candidacy papers with the FEC on April 5.

The filing places the 69-year-old as the second long-shot Democratic candidate to challenge President Biden, behind Ms Williamson.

Robert F Kennedy Jr

While he intends to run as a Democrat, Mr Kennedy Jr has ties to former president Mr Trump. In 2017, he was tapped by the then-president-elect to oversee a presidential panel to review vaccine safety and science - despite having repeatedly expressed scepticism about vaccines. He continued pushing those beliefs through the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Kennedy Jr’s father, the late New York Senator Robert F Kennedy Sr, was a candidate in the 1968 presidential election before he was assassinated.

The presidential candidate eventually switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Independent.

Chris Christie

Mr Christie, the pugnacious ex-New Jersey governor and ally-turned-critic of Mr Trump, entered the 2024 Republican presidential primary to directly challenge the man he endorsed after failing to gain traction in the GOP field nearly eight years ago.

In a town hall at St Anselm College in New Hampshire on June 6, Mr Christie, 60, announced his campaign by positioning himself as a moderate-conservative alternative to Mr Trump who he referred to as a “self-consumed, self-serving, mirror hog”.

Chris Christie

Mr Christie twice endorsed Mr Trump for president in 2016 and 2020 but turned on him after Mr Trump refused to concede and ultimately encouraged the January 6th riot.

The former New Jersey governor has been outspoken about his disdain for Mr Trump and is making it very clear in his 2024 campaign that he plans to take him on head first.

Ryan Binkley

Pastor and businessman Mr Binkley announced his entrance into the 2024 race on May 9 – another long-shot contender to challenge Mr Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination.

“We have to be unified,” Mr Binkley, 55, said at an event. “We have to be in this place, because if we’re in a time of uncertainty, what it’s going to take is faith in God and faith in each other to get us through, and it’s not time for us to back down. It’s time for us to believe.”

Ryan Binkley

Mr Binkley has said he is “absolutely” confident that he could take on Mr Trump, despite having little name recognition and no experience holding elected office.

Asa Hutchinson

The former governor of Arkansas formally announced his campaign for president on April 26.

In Bentonville, Arkansas, Mr Hutchinson, 72, told supporters he is “optimistic” about the future of the US and hopes to carry out the same “conservative values” to the White House that he did as governor.

“In this campaign for president, I stand alone in terms of my experience, record and leadership,” Mr Hutchinson said.

Asa Hutchinson

Before becoming governor, Mr Hutchinson was a representative for Arkansas, an administrator for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and transportation security of the US Department of Homeland Security under former president George W Bush.

Mr Hutchinson discussed the economy, crime and border security during his campaign kick-off speech.

Doug Burgum

Mr Burgum, the governor of North Dakota, said he too would be running for the Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential election on June 7.

The virtually unknown governor was a software entrepreneur before he was elected to his gubernatorial position in 2016.

Doug Burgum

In a preview video released the day before his announcement, Mr Burgum, 66, called himself “a new leader for a changing economy,” indicating his campaign would focus on kitchen-table issues.

But Mr Burgum has dipped his toe into some of the contemporary social issues that many Americans are concerned about when looking at a new candidate.

Mr Burgum is anti-abortion having signed a near-total abortion ban in North Dakota and anti-transgender having signed eight anti-transgender laws.

Dean Phillips

Mr Phillips, the Democratic representative of Minnesota, announced he would challenge Mr Biden for the White House on October 26.

“ I know this campaign is a long shot, but that is why I think it is important and worth doing,” Mr Phillips said in his announcement.

Dean Phillips speaks after filing the paperwork to put his name on the ballot for the state’s primary election outside the statehouse in Concord, New Hampshire

Mr Phillips, 54, said he was running to serve as an alternate Democratic candidate to President Joe Biden, who he believes should not run due to his age and low approval rating.

“President Biden is a good man and someone I tremendously respect. I understand why other Democrats don’t want to run against him, and why we are here.” Mr Phillips wrote on X. “If President Biden is the Democratic nominee, we face an unacceptable risk of Trump being back in the White House.”

Mr Phillips, who was elected to Congress in 2018, said his campaign will focus on making the economy better, life more affordable for the middle class and improving safety.

Called it quits

Will Hurd

Mr Hurd, 45, a former CIA officer and representative for Texas, announced his bid for the Republican nomination on June 22.

Approximately three months later on October 9, Mr Hurd suspended his campaign.

Will Hurd speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Spring Kick-off in West Des Moines, Iowa

Like Mr Christie, Mr Hurd positioned himself as a moderate alternative to the field of GOP candidates while remaining critical of Mr Trump.

The former Texas representative served in the US House for six years before leaving in 2021. He was the only Black Republican in the chamber during his final two terms.

While in Congress, Mr Hurd’s district was one of the most competitive in Texas. It included parts of San Antonio and El Paso as well as included most of the Texas border with Mexico.

In his campaign suspension announcement, Mr Hurd urged voters to “united around an alternative candidate to Trump.”

“Otherwise, we will repeat the same errors as in 2016. If the Republican party nominates Donald Trump or the various personalities jockeying to imitate his divisive, crass behavior, we will lose,” Mr Hurd said.

Perry Johnson

Mr Johnson, 75, is a businessman who tried to run for governor of Michigan in 2022 but was disqualified due to invalid signatures.

But the hiccup didn’t stop Mr Johnson from aiming big and making a longshot, and short-lived, bid for president.

US businessman and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Perry Johnson speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center

On 3 March, Mr Johnson announced his bid for 2024 president in Iowa where he claimed to be: “pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, anti-woke and anti-China”.

He notably has promoted a plan to cut federal spending by 2 per cent every year and pushing to complete the US – Mexico border wall.

Mr Johnson suspended his campaign on October 20 saying, “With no opportunity to share my vision on the debate stage, I have decided at this time, suspending my campaign is the right thing to do,”

Francis Suarez

Mr Suarez, the mayor of Miami, filed paperwork with the FEC on 14 June – throwing his hat in the ring of an already packed Republican nomination race.

But that did not last long as he chose to suspend his campaign on 29 August after failing to qualify for the first RNC debate.

Francis Suarez

Mr Suarez, 45, is a Cuban-American who has made a name for himself in Miami, and Florida, as a tough-on-crime conservative. But outside of the state, he’s largely unknown.

Some may remember Mr Suarez as one of the first people to contract Covid-19 in Miami-Dade County in March 2020. He documented his progression with the illness to help others understand it better.

Despite his relative obscurity, Mr Suarez expressed confidence that being the only Hispanic candidate gave him “a lot of credibility,” according to The Associated Press.

In his resignation announcement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Mr Suarez said: “While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains.”

He added that he looks forward to supporting the eventual nominee.

Larry Elder

Mr Elder, a former attorney, and current conservative talk radio host, announced on Thursday, April 20 on Tucker Carlson Tonight, just like Mr Ramaswamy, that he would be running for president in 2024.

The right-wing candidate said that he felt a “moral, religious, and a patriotic duty” to join the race for president. He named policing, crime and government overreach as areas of concern.

Mr Elder later suspended his campaign in October.

Republican presidential candidate conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder speaks to guests at Ashley's BBQ Bash

Prior to his announcement, Mr Elder had been the host of the popular conservative radio programme The Larry Elder Show on KABC since 1993. He left in April 2022.

Mr Elder has some political experience as he unsuccessfully ran to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021.

On October 26, Mr Elder suspended his campaign and gave his support to Mr Trump.

Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mr Pence officially entered the 2024 presidential race on June 7 after much speculation that he would try to take on his former boss Mr Trump.

“Today our party and our country need a leader that will appeal, as Lincoln said, to the better angels of our nature,” Mr Pence said in his campaign kickoff speech in Iowa.

He suspended his campaign just four months later.

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX Business Network and Univision, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023

Mr Pence, 64, was once Mr Trump’s steadfast right-hand man until he made the decision not to unlawfully hijack Congress’ certification of Electoral College votes to keep Mr Trump in office in 2020.

Since then, a rift has been driven between Mr Pence and Mr Trump – though Mr Pence continues to not publicly criticse Mr Trump in the same way other anti-Trump Republicans have.

Mr Pence has made it clear that he would not do things the way the ex-president did during their four years in office together but still promote the traditional conservative values he holds.

Mr Pence announced on October 28 that he would suspend his presidential campaign saying “this is not my time.”

Tim Scott

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott officially entered the race for Republican presidential nominee on 19 May after filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.

He suspended his campaign on 12 November, approximately six months after he first made his announcement

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023

Mr Scott, 57, became the first Black senator to represent a state that had been part of the Confederacy during the American Civil War and the first Black Republican since Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke when he was elected in 2013.

He has long been considered a rising star in the Republican Party and was given the honour of delivering the party’s response to President Joe Biden’s inaugural address to Congress in 2021.

He began his campaign with more money than any of his 2024 rivals — roughly $22 million that he can automatically convert from his US Senate campaign account to a presidential campaign. This is the most any candidate in history has had at the beginning of a campaign for president, according to the FEC.

Mr Scott ended his campaign due to a lack of voter support.

“The voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they’re telling me, ‘not now, Tim.’” Mr Scott told Fox News.

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