The gay husband of a Democratic presidential candidate, a born-again Christian pastor and a GOP-voting Army veteran: it doesn’t take much to spot the odd brother out.
Few were surprised, therefore, when Pete Buttigieg’s spouse Chasten Glezman claimed he was disowned by his conservative older brothers and forced to flee his home after coming out at 18.
But while the poignant backstory resonated with liberal voters and helped the South Bend, Indiana, mayor stand out among the crowded democratic 2020 field, it’s now being denounced as a lie by Chasten’s siblings.
‘He was never shunned. He was never homeless. He had a home,’ Dustin Glezman, 32, told DailyMailTV. ‘When I read all this stuff, it’s like I’m reading about someone else’s family. I don’t recognize any of it.’
Dustin supplied DailyMailTV with an exclusive photo of himself, Chasten and eldest brother Rhyan, taken in 2010, about two years after Chasten supposedly alienated his family by revealing he was gay.
‘Can’t you just see the hatred in our eyes?’ scoffed Dustin. The three are sat on a couch, smiling broadly and Dustin has his arm around the then 20-year-old Chasten.
Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg’s husband Chasten, 29, has claimed he became homeless after coming out to his family as gay at age 18. The couple are pictured together on the campaign trail in Las Vegas last month
Chasten’s older brother Dustin Glezman, 32, said the claims are false and provided this photo of the Glezman brothers (l-r: Dustin, Chasten, Rhyan) seated on a couch in 2010, just two years after Chasten was allegedly shunned by his family for being gay
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (far right) attended Dustin’s wedding with Chasten last year with the Glezman family. ‘I like Pete. He’s a great guy. But everything went south when this Presidency thing came about,’ Dustin says. (Pictured l-r : Erin Glezman and husband Rhyan, parents Terry and Sherri Glezman, Dustin Glezman and wife Diana, Chasten and Pete Buttigieg)
Another photo taken at Dustin’s wedding in February of last year, shows the three brothers, their parents Sherri and Terry, all posing happily with Buttigieg.
Dustin Glezman tells DailyMailTV that his younger brother’s account of being shunned by the family for coming out as gay is ‘a sob story to sell to the voters’
‘You can see the love we have for one another. This is why I find this whole rift thing so frustrating,’ added father-of-two Dustin, who joined the Army at 20 and still serves in the reserves.
‘I like Pete. He’s a great guy. I went to their wedding. But everything went south when this Presidency thing came about.’
Buttigieg, 37, a fellow veteran, in his case as a United States Navy Reserve officer, has emerged from obscurity in recent months to establish himself as the first ever openly gay nominee for President.
His marriage to 29-year-old junior high school teacher Chasten has been a key component of his Pete for America campaign and the focus of much media attention.
‘Chasten Buttigieg has been a homeless community college student and a Starbucks barista,’ the Washington Post declared on May 1. ‘Now, he could be first gentleman.’
The article praised Chasten, 29, for overcoming ‘bullying, estrangement, homelessness and sexual assault.’
It described how he was forced out of his family home in Traverse City, northern Michigan, when he revealed his was gay, suffering the further indignity of his mother questioning whether he had AIDS.
‘A stalemate took hold of the house. There was a lot of silence, Chasten says, but he remembers hearing one of his brothers utter, ”No brother of mine …”’ the Post reported.
‘Chasten packed his bags. ”I felt like I just could not be there,” he says. ”So, I left.”’
In spite of the apparent turmoil, Chasten went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire with a degree in theater and global studies.
After studying for a Masters in education, he worked as a teacher in Illinois before moving to South Bend, where his spouse has been mayor since 2012.
The Glezman family are pictured at Dustin’s (center) wedding in February 2018. ‘You can see the love we have for one another,’ Dustin said of the photo (l-r, Rhyan, father Terry, Dustin, Chasten, mother Sherri)
Dustin, an Army veteran, tells DailyMailTV that there were times in high school where he ‘confronted people who called [Chasten] gay and put him down’
Eldest brother Rhyan Glezman, 34, was quoted last week saying he loves his brother but doesn’t approve of the ‘gay lifestyle.’ He and his wife Erin worship at the church he runs in Clio, Michigan
The couple met on dating app Hinge in 2015 and married in the Episcopalian Cathedral of St. James in South Bend on June 16 last year in front of Chasten’s parents as well as Dustin and his wife Diana.
The only members of the family not to attend the nuptials were 34-year-old Rhyan, who is pastor of a small evangelical church in Clio, Michigan, 80 miles north of Detroit, and his wife Erin.
In an interview last week with the Washington Examiner, Rhyan said he chose not to attend because gay marriage is not compatible with his Christian beliefs.
He denied any suggestion he was bigoted or had shunned his brother, stating that since the Post’s article was published he had been the target of abusive emails and messages.
Dustin, who is also a born-again Christian, told DailyMailTV: ‘I can wholeheartedly tell you that Rhyan loves our brother.
‘Just because he doesn’t agree with everything Chasten does, doesn’t mean he loves him any less.’
Speaking at his home in a northern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, Dustin added: ‘For me, he’s my brother so I was always going to be there for him.
‘There was no way I was going to miss my own brother’s wedding. People are people, I don’t care if they are gay.
‘There was a gay guy in my unit in Afghanistan, my wife has a transgender best friend.
‘Honestly, I think it’s Pete and my brother who are making this such a talking point. Nobody else cares.’
Chasten’s mother Sherri and father Terry are close to him and Mayor Pete, pictured attending a Notre Dame football game together. Chasten’s parents gave him away at his Episcopal church wedding to Buttigieg
This is the Glezman family refrigerator, which prominently displays photos of Chasten and Buttigieg as well as the other brothers
Dustin said their mother Sherri never quizzed Chasten about having AIDS when he came out to the family, which runs in contrary to his account
The older Glezman siblings also dispute reports suggesting Chasten had an impoverished upbringing.
Their 55-year-old dad Terry – according to the Washington Post, ‘so poor that in high school he wore his letterman jacket every day to hide his unwashed clothes’ – owns his own construction company.
Mom Sherri, 54, had a small business making Christmas wreaths.
The Glezmans still live in the five-bedroom, $175,000 house where their three sons were raised.
The boys shared jet skis, four-wheelers, a pontoon boat and enjoyed vacations to Disney World and the Bahamas.
‘We were not poor, we were not rich, I considered us middle class,’ is how Dustin puts it.
They were nominally Catholic but attended church services infrequently.
He and Rhyan were into sports, the outdoors and hunting. Chasten enjoyed fishing trips and shot guns with his siblings but refused to kill an animal.
They all attended Traverse City West Senior High School, where Chasten says he was bullied and subjected to homophobia because of his love of theater.
‘There were a couple of times that I confronted people who called him gay and put him down. That’s what big brothers do,’ Dustin went on.
‘When he came out I wasn’t surprised. No-one cared, nothing changed – it’s all cool man. That “no brother of mine” stuff, that never happened. My mom never quizzed him about AIDS.
‘Chasten was never shunned or kicked out. If Chasten left and slept in his car for two weeks that’s because Chasten wanted to do that.’
Chasten has been a key component of his husband’s Pete for America campaign and the focus of media attention with his quirky tweets and outgoing personality
Pete Buttigieg was featured on the cover of Time Magazine’s May issue with husband Chasten
Dustin last saw his younger brother in person in summer 2018 at the funeral of their maternal grandmother, Wanda Fehrenbach.
He texted him in January to offer his condolences after the death of Buttigieg’s father Joseph but didn’t hear back.
‘I just assumed they were busy. You know I really am proud of what they’re doing, it takes a lot of hard work,’ he said. ‘Hats off to them. But when I read the articles, yes, I was hurt.’
It is unlikely that Dustin will be casting a ballot for his brother-in-law because he typically votes GOP.
But if a candidate shared his views on strengthening border controls and preserving the Electoral College, Dustin insists he would happily vote for them – Republican or Democrat, gay or straight. Buttigieg has spoken in favor of abolishing the electoral college.
Dustin said he wants to build bridges with his baby-faced younger brother – but says that has to start with the truth.
‘My family has been put under the microscope, all for the sake of having a sob story to sell to the voters,’ Dustin added.
‘Chasten and Pete are great people, there’s no reason to make things up. They should just be themselves.
‘We had amazing parents who gave us everything. We had a loving childhood. I love my family dearly, all of them.
‘I had the best parents anyone could ask for and the best brothers anyone could ask for – and that’s the truth.’
WHO ARE THE 19 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?
Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 56
Entered race: May 2, 2019
Career: Currently Colorado senator. Educated at elite St. Albans preparatory school and was a Capitol Hill page before graduating Wesleyan and Yale Law School. Was law clerk and worked in Clinton’s Department of Justice then moved to Colorado in 1997 as managing director of billionaire Philip Anschutz’s investment company. Was chief of staff to Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, then superintendent of Denver Public schools. Appointed to vacant Colorado Senate seat in 2009, held it 48.1 to 46.4 in 2010 and 50 to 44.3 in 2016
Family: Married to environmental attorney Susan Daggett, with three daughters – Halina, Anne and Caroline. Was born in New Delhi while to diplomat father Douglas Bennet, who went onto be CEO of NPR and a Clinton assistant secretary of state. His grandfather, also Douglas, was an economic adviser to FDR. Mother Susanne is retired elementary school librarian whose parents were Holocaust survivors. Brother James is editor of the New York Times opinion section
Religion: Says he was raised with Jewish and Christian heritage; no known adherence
Views on key issues: Moderate who does not endorse Medicare for all or – so far – Green New Deal. Strongly pro-choice and pro-gay rights, leading to 2010 Senate victory. Pro raising minimum wage. Wants citizenship pathway for ‘dreamers.’
Would make history as: First Colorado president
Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78
Entered race: April 25, 2019
Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.
Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes
Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately
Would make history as: Oldest person elected president
Slogan: Working for America
Age on Inauguration Day: 51
Entered race: February 1, 2019
Career: Currently New Jersey senator. High school football star who went to Stanford or undergraduate and masters degrees before studying in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and Yale Law School. Worked for advocacy and youth projects and successfully ran for Newark, New Jersey, city council in 1998. Narrowly lost mayoral election in 2002 facing claims he was ‘suburban’ and ‘not black enough.’ Ran again in 2006 and won landslide on radical reform platform for troubled city, including being tough on crime, cutting budget deficit, increasing affordable housing and tackling failing schools – controversially taking a huge donation from Mark Zuckerberg for the city. Ran for New Jersey senate seat in 2013 special election and won; won full term in 2014
Family: Unmarried but dating actress Rosario Dawson. Parents Cary and Carolyn were among IBM’s first black executives. Brother Cary Jr. is education adviser to New Jersey’s Democratic governor
Views on key issues: Self-proclaimed liberal. Endorses abortion rights; affirmative action; single-payer health care; criminal justice reform; path to citizenship for ‘dreamers; federal marijuana decriminalization; $15 minimum wage; but has also spoken against tech regulation and for long-term deficit reduction
Would make history as: First unmarried president since Grover Cleveland in 1886
Slogan: Together, America, We Will Rise
Age on Inauguration Day: 54
Entered race: May 14, 2019
Career: Currently governor of Montana. Montana native educated at Claremont McKenna College, California, and Columbia Law who worked for Montana Democratic governor and Department of Justice before failed 2000 run for state attorney general. Practiced law then ran again in 2008 and won, using it to springboard to run for governor in 2012, winning 48.9 to 47.3, then winning second term in 2016 by 50.3 to 46.4 in a state which Trump won 56.2 to 35.7. Only Democratic governor to win re-election in a Trump state
Family: Married to Lisa Downs, who was a year behind him in high school. They have three children, Caroline, Alexandria and Cameron. His parents Michael, a teacher, and Margaret, a school board trustee, divorced when he was at grade school and he has one brother, Bill
Views on key issues: Vocal moderate. Wants Democrats to expand reach beyond the coasts and cities. Not signed up to Green New Deal or Medicare for All. Warned Hillary Clinton against attacking coal mining in 2016. Says government has to afford taxation and spending commitments. Social liberal on abortion and gay marriage. Has shifted from gun control opponent to backing universal background checks and assault weapon ban
Would make history as: First Montanan president
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 39
Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019
Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015
Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge. Would be first combat veteran since George H.W. Bush
Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian
Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown
Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 46
Entered race: January 12, 2018, at rally in his native San Antonio, TX. Had formed exploratory committee two months previously
Career: No current job. Stanford and Harvard graduate who was a San Antonio, Texas, councilman at 26 and became mayor of the city in 2009. Was Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary from 2014 to 2016
Family: Married with nine-year-old daughter, Carina, and four-year-old son, Cristian. His identical twin Joaquin, who is a minute younger, is Democratic congressman. Mother Maria del Rosario Castro was part of ‘radical’ third party for Mexican-Americans; father left his wife and five children for her but they never married. Would be first Hispanic-American president – announced his run in English and Spanish – and first-ever U.S. president with a twin
Views on key issues: Wants medicare for all; universal pre-K; action on affordable housing; will not take money from political action committees (PACs) tied to corporations or unions. Other views still to be announced
Would make history as: First Hispanic president, first to be a twin
Slogan: One Nation, One Destiny
Age on Inauguration Day: 57
Entered race: Filed papers July 28, 2017
Career: No current job. Columbia and Georgetown law educated financial entrepreneur. Set up publicly-traded companies lending capital to healthcare and mid-size businesses and was youngest CEO at the time of a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm. Three-time Maryland congressman, first winning election in 2012; announced run for president instead of running again in 2018
Family: Married father of four; wife April works for children’s issues nonprofit. Credits his working class father’s union for helping him through college
Views on key issues: Social liberal in favor of legalized pot and gun control but not single-payer healthcare; fiscally conservative
Would make history as: First president from Maryland. First openly bald president since Eisenhower
Slogan: Focus on the Future
Age on Inauguration Day: 39
Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019
Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012
Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.
Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory
Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever
Slogan: Lead with Love
Age on Inauguration Day: 56
Entered race: Announced she was running January 21, 2018 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – on Good Morning America. Formally entered race January 27
Career: Currently California senator. Howard and U.C. Hunter law school grad who worked as assistant district attorney in Alameda County, CA, then in San Francisco’s DA’s office before being elected San Francisco DA in 2003 and used it as springboard to run successfully for California attorney general in 2010. Won again in 2014 and was at center of U.S. attorney general and Supreme Court speculation but also endured a series of controversies, including over police brutality allegations. Ran for Senate in 2016 and established herself on liberal wing of party
Family: Born in Berkeley, CA, to immigrant Indian Tamil mother and Jamaican father who were both academics and brought up from seven to 18 in Montreal, Canada. Dated married San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, when he was 60 and she was 29. Married attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014 and has two stepchildren; Cole, an aspiring actor, and Ella, an art and design student. Sister Maya was a Hillary Clinton adviser and brother-in-law Tony West is Uber’s chief legal counsel
Views on key issues: Social ultra-liberal who has rejected criticisms of ‘identity politics’ and is running without a political action committee, which will make her reliant on small donors. Has shifted left on criminal justice reform; supports Medicare for all; pro-gun control and anti-death penalty; says illegal immigration is a civil not a criminal offense
Religion: Has said she was brought up in both Baptist and Hindu tradition
Would make history as: First female and first Indian-American president
Slogan: For The People
Age on Inauguration Day: 60
Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis
Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018
Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher
Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)
Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE
Would make history as: First female president
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration day: 46
Entered race: Announced March 28, 2019, formal launch March 30, 2019
Career: Currently mayor of Miramar, Florida. Florida State University football star who played starting wide receiver, and graduated in 1997. Worked in construction industry as contractor and started his own company in 2007. Ran for City of Miramar Commission in 2011 and mayor in 2015, defeating 16-year Democratic incumbent and becoming first black mayor of the city. Won second term March 2019, days before announcing presidential bid
Family: Married to college sweetheart Angela Sands, 44, who is also his business partner. Three college-age children: son Wayne Jr. and twin daughters Kayla and Kyla. Fourth child and first American-born child of Jamaican immigrants Hubert , a sugar-cane cutter, and his wife Delsey, who are both deceased. Was president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 2018
Religion: Worships at the Fountain of New Life Church in Miami Gardens where he is a deacon
Views on key issues: Says he is staunch advocate of gun control. Wants action on climate change and is opposed to off-shore oil drilling. Opposes Trump immigration policies and proposed forcing immigration officials to get a warrant before entering city property. Yet to state position on health care and foreign policy
Would make history as: First Jamaican-American and first Florida president
Slogan: Your Champion
Age on Inauguration Day: 47
Entered race: March 14, 2019
Career: No current job. Born Robert Francis O’Rourke. Boarding-school educated Columbia grad who lived in a New York loft, playing in a punk band and doing desultory jobs and setting up an internet firm. Ran for El Paso city council in 2005, winning re-election and serving until 2012. Ran for Congress in 2012, defeating eight-term Democratic incumbent in primary. Gave up seat to run for Senate against Ted Cruz in 2018, losing 51-48
Family: Married to wife Amy Sanders, nine years his junior, with sons Ulysses and Henry, and daughter Molly. Father Pat was long-time El Paso politician who switched from Democrat to Republican; mom Melissa ran family-owned store in city until selling it after IRS probe. Melissa’s stepfather Fred Korth was one of JFK’s secretaries of the Navy. Father-in-law William Saunders is real estate developer estimated to be worth $500 million
Views on key issues: Wants comprehensive immigration reform to give citizenship to ‘dreamers’ and a path to it for their parents, and vehemently opposes Trump’s wall. Supports federal marijuana legalization. Pro-gun control including an assault rifle ban and universal background checks. Supports single-payer health care but with co-pays and has backed Medicaid expansion. Strongly pro-choice. Has hinted at backing breaking up tech giants. Said he would have voted for impeachment in Congress if he had had the chance
Would make history as: No clear claims
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 46
Entered race: April 4, 2019
Career: Currently Ohio congressman. High school football star who got a scholarship to Youngstown State, Ohio, but transferred to nearby Bowling Green University when his career ended in injury. Became a congressional aide, picked up a law degree, then served in the Ohio Senate and when his former House boss Jim Traficant went to prison for fraud ran for his seat in 2002 and won. Has held district – first Ohio 13th then the 17th when Youngstown was redistricted – since with little opposition since. Released book on meditation in 2012 and considered running against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader
Family: Married first grade schoolteacher Andrea Zetts in 2013. Couple had a son, Brady, the following year. Zetts has a daughter, Bella, and a son, Mason, from her first marriage who Ryan says he ‘loves like his own.’ Ryan’s first marriage ended in divorce. He was brought up by his mom Rochelle after she and his father Allen divorced when he was seven
Views on key issues: Moderate who backs Medicare for all. Flipped from anti-abortion to pro-choice in dramatic fashion in 2015. Does not appear to back the Green New Deal but suggests a carbon tax. Spoken up for capitalism but is also pro-union. Advocated for mindfulness teaching in classrooms. Also flipped on gun control from A rating by NRA to strong support of anti-gun measures
Would make history as: Only second sitting congressman elected president – first was James Garfield, also from Ohio, in 1880
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 79
Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19
Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture
Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deboarah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. Would be first Jewish president
Religion: Secular Jewish
Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East
Would make history as: Oldest person elected president
Slogan: Not me. Us.
Age on Inauguration Day: 69
Entered race: June 23, 2019
Career: U.S. Naval Academy graduate who rose to three-star admiral with assignments including commanding the USS George Washington aircraft carrier battle group and Bill Clinton’s National Security Council’s director for defense policy but clashed with Donald Rumsfeld. Retired and ran as Democrat in Pennsylvania’s 7th district 2006, won and held it until he ran for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat in 2010, losing 51-49 with a margin of 80,229 votes. Ran again in 2016 but lost in primary
Family: Married to wife Susan Clark, a defense and environmental analyst he met on a trip to the then Soviet Union. Daughter Alexandra, born 2004, survived a brain tumor aged four but cancer returned this year. Father Joe Sr. was decorated Navy officer in World War II and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery
Views on key issues: Wants $1 trillion public infrastructure plan; says there is a ‘climate crisis’ and wants green jobs; attacks China for ‘intellectual property theft’ but wants U.S. back in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trump pulled out of; wants Medicare to compete as a ‘public option’ rather than universal health care; also wants back into Iran deal and Paris accord
Would make history as: First veteran president since George H.W. Bush
Slogan: Accountability to America
Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 63
Entered race: July 9, 2019
Career: Currently retired. New York-born to wealthy family, he was educated at elite Phillips Exeter Academy, same as rival Andrew Yang, and Yale, then Stanford Business School. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs banker who founded his own hedge fund in 1986 and made himself a billionaire; investments included subprime lenders, private prisons and coal mines. Stepped down in 2012 to focus on advocating for alternative energy. Longtime Democratic activist and donor who started campaign to impeach Trump in October 2017. Net worth of $1.6 billion has made him one of the Democrats’ biggest single donors
Family: Married Kathryn Taylor in 1986; they have four adult children who have been told they will not inherit the bulk of his fortune. Announced last November he and his wife would live apart. Father Roy was a Nuremberg trials prosecutor
Views on key issues: On the left of the field despite being a hedge fund tycoon. Backs single-payer health care, minimum wage rises and free public college. Previously spoke in favor of Bernie Sanders’ agenda. Aggressive backer of climate change action, including ditching fossil fuels
Would make history as: Richest Democratic president ever
Age on Inauguration Day: 71
Entered race: Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018
Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016
Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American
Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church
Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling
Would make history as: First female president
Slogan: To be announced
Age on Inauguration Day: 68
Entered race: Announced exploratory committee November 15, 2018. Formally entered January 28, 2019
Career: Currently an author, Dropped out of Pomona College, California, became part of the counter culture and anti-war movement and ran a ‘metaphysical bookstore’ before publishing spiritual guide A Return to Love and being praised by Oprah, sending it to number one. Published series of follow-ups and founded AIDS charity and subsequently more non-profits including a peace movement. Ran for Congress in 2014 and lost
Family: Born to immigration attorney father Sam and housewife mother Sophie in Houston, Texas. Married for ‘a minute and a half’ to unnamed man; daughter India was born in 1990 but Williamson declines to name her father
Views on key issues: Wants vast expansion of physical and mental healthcare; and nutrition and lifestyle reforms including ban on marketing processed and sugary foods to children; universal pre-K; much of the Green New Deal’s proposals including a de-carbonized economy, electric cars and rebuilding mass transit; gun control through licensing; wants more vacation time; pro decriminalizing all drugs
Would make history as: First female president
Slogan: Join the Evolution
Age on Inauguration Day: 46
Entered race: Filed papers November 6, 2018
Career: No current job. Went to public school in New York where he describes being bullied with racial slurs, then elite Phillips Exeter Academy boarding school – same as rival Tom Steyer. Brown and Columbia Law graduate who abandoned career as an attorney then started a dotcom flop then become healthcare and education tech executive who set up nonprofit Venture for America
Family: Married to wife Evelyn with two sons, one of whom he has said is on the autism spectrum. His parents were both immigrants from Taiwan who met at the University of California, Berkeley, as grad students
Religion: Reformed Church
Views on key issues: Warns of rise of robots and artificial intelligence, wants $1,000 a month universal basic income and social media regulated. Spoke out against male circumcision. Wants a state monitor to crack down on ‘fake news.’
Would make history as: First Asian-American president
Slogan: Humanity First
AND THOSE WHO’VE ALREADY WITHDRAWN
KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, New York senator
Entered race: January 16, 2019. Quit: August 28, 2019
BILL DE BLASIO, New York City mayor
Entered race: May 16, 2019. Quit: September 20, 2020
MIKE GRAVEL, Former Alaska governor
Entered race: April 2,2019. Quit: August 2, 2019
JOHN HICKENLOOPER, Former Colorado governor
Entered race: March 4, 2019. Quit: August 15, 2019
JAY INSLEE, Washington state governor
Entered race: March 1, 2019. Quit: August 21, 2019
SETH MOULTON, Massachusetts congressman
Entered race: April 22,2019. Quit: August 23, 2019
RICHARD OJEDA, West Virginia ex-state senator and paratrooper veteran
Entered race: November 12, 2018. Quit: January 25, 2019
ERIC SWALWELL, California congressman
Entered race: April 8, 2019. Quit July 8, 2019
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