EVERYWHERE – In a flurry of press conferences Thursday, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), former mayor Michael Bloomberg (D-NY), Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO), and 37 others announced that they were seeking the nomination to represent the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential election, adding to an already crowded field.
Governor Steve Bollock (D-MT) announced his candidacy in a ceremony outside of the Montana Capital Building in Helena at around 10 AM, followed closely by an announcement at 10:15 AM by Billings Mayor Bill Cole that he is also seeking the nomination. Concurrently, representative Seth Moulton (D-MA) announced his candidacy during a press conference in Boston.
Also making announcements were former governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), California businessman Joe Sanberg, senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Chris Coons (D-DE), representatives Greg Stanton (D-AZ), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Michael Doyle (D-PA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Rick Larsen (D-WA), NBCUniversal Chairman Jeff Shell, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, and Omaha band teacher Jeremy Haupt.
Following those announcements, several other prominent democrats jumped into the field, including representatives Darren Soto (D-FL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Pete Visclosky (D-IN), John Yarmuth (D-KY), David Trone (D-MD), and Dean Phillips (D-MN), senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Jack Reed (D-RI), governors Asa Hutchinson (D-AL), Ned Lamont (D-CT), Steve Sisolak (D-NV) and Roy Cooper (D-NC), and Salem, Oregon mayor Chuck Bennett.
“With so many democrats entering the race, it’s really firing up the field” said CNN Political Commentator Chris Cillizza. “But my concern is that with so many candidates entering at once, they might drown each other out. It’s a far cry from the near-perfect rollout of Kamala Harris’s campaign in January, as she was able to capitalize the energy of her announcement into securing that front-runner status”.
Other democratic presidential hopefuls include former representatives Tom Daschle, Bart Gordon, Tom Perriello, and Anthony Wiener, former senator Jim Webb, professor Lawrence Lessig, General Wesley Clark, television host Jerry Springer, and performance artist Vermin Supreme.
Voters are excited about having multiple choices this primary season, but have expressed concerns about the demographic makeup of the race, including actress Rosie O’Donnell, saying “we’ve already got an old white guy with Bernie Sanders, we don’t really need 40 more”.
CNN has responded by clearing their programming schedule the weekend of April 20th to host a series of 40 town-halls where the candidates will have the opportunity to introduce themselves to Americans and answer questions from randomly selected members of the audience. The town halls will begin at 7 AM EST on Saturday beginning with Senator Bennett, followed by Mayor Bennett, and then proceed alphabetically until they conclude at midnight Sunday night, unless more candidates enter the race between now and then.