Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
Michael Dale “Mike” Huckabee served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. Huckabee, 59, was born in Hope, Arkansas, to a fireman and mechanic father and a mother who worked as a clerk at a gas station company.
Priding himself on hard work, the former pastor served as the Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas from 1993-1996 and chaired the National Governor’s Association from 2005-2006.
After a failed presidential bid in 2008, Huckabee hosted his own television program on Fox News entitled Huckabee. He has published several books, the most recent of which entitled God, Guns, Grits and Gravy in 2015. Huckabee also has commentated on radio news programs entitled The Mike Huckabee Show and The Huckabee Report.
Huckabee vehemently opposes abortion including in cases of rape or incest. He opposed the Affordable Care Act and believes that same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry or adopt. Huckabee is against gun control and argues for an increase in defense spending.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Lindsey Olin Graham serves as Senior U.S. Senator from South Carolina. A native South Carolinian, Graham became the first member of his family to attend college. He graduated with a degree in Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1977 and from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1981.
Graham served as a Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force and holds the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Graham worked as a private practice lawyer before elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1992. He then served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 before replacing Strom Thurman in the U.S. Senate. Graham won his third term in 2014 and his known for his work across the aisle in the Senate.
Graham is in favor of NSA surveillance and is a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. He opposes extending background checks on those wishing to buy a firearm and has received a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBTQ issues. While acknowledging warming effects, Graham opposes legislation aimed at aiding the fight against global warming and is a strong advocate for offshore drilling.
Bobby Jindal (R-LA)
The 55th Governor of Louisiana, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Indian immigrants. Jindal earned a degree in biology and public policy from Brown University before attending Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
In 1994, Jindal worked as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies before entering public service in 1996 when he was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Jindal served as Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2001 and was elected Governor of Louisiana in 2007.
During his time as governor, Jindal has pushed for comprehensive ethics reform in his home state and led a successful response in moving citizens out of harm’s way during Hurricane Gustav.
Jindal holds a strong voting record of pro-life politics and opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage, but wishes to leave the issue to the states. He has opposed legislation restricting gun rights and has voted to build a fence along the Mexican border to restrict illegal immigration.
Chris Christie (R-NJ)
The 55th Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1962. A graduate of the University of Delaware with a juris doctorate from Seton Hall, President George W. Bush appointed Christie as U.S. attorney for the state of New Jersey in 2005.
In 2009, Christie won the gubernatorial election against incumbent governor John Corzine, despite spending one-third the amount of money of Corzine.
Not without his controversies in New Jersey, the keynote speaker of the Republican convention in 2012, Christie positions himself on lowering taxes and has balanced the budget in the state of New Jersey for six consecutive years as of June 2015.
Unlike most Republicans, Christie is in favor of limited gun control laws to inhibit illegal firearm sales. Christie also acknowledges the roles humans play in climate change and believes in a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
Jeb Bush (R-FL)
The 43rd Governor of Florida, John Ellis “Jeb” Bush is the son of former president George H.W. Bush and brother of former president George W. Bush. Born in 1953 in Midland, Texas, Jeb moved to Miami, Florida, where we became partner in one of the leading real estate firms of southern Florida.
Jeb served as Florida’s Secretary of Commerce in the 1980s and was elected as governor in 1999. He stands as the only Republican to be elected to consecutive terms in the swing state.
During his two terms, Bush cut nearly $20 billion in taxes and reduced his government work force by more than 13,000 jobs. Passionate about education, after his term as governor Bush also became the Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education—a non-profit dedicated to developing reforms in education that lead to higher student achievement.
In 2013, Bush authored Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, outlining a conservative reform strategy to fix what he believes is the nation’s broken immigration system.
Bush is largely considered one of the more “liberal” Republicans in the presidential race, approving of limited tax increases and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He has changed views on same-sex rights, now against legalizing same-sex marriage. Overall, Bush presents a more moderate view for GOP contenders in comparison to the Tea Party-candidate Cruz and Libertarian-minded Rand Paul.
Carly Fiorina (R-CA)
Born in Austin, Texas, in 1954, Carly Fiorina began her career as a secretary for a nine person real estate firm before joining AT&T in 1980. There she became a senior vice president before heading leading corporate operations of an AT&T spinoff, Lucent Technologies, in 1995.
In 1999, Fiorina became the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business by becoming the Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard. With HP, she doubled revenue to over $90 billion before leaving the company in 2005 upon irreconcilable differences with HP’s board of directors due to stalling revenue.
After volunteering for John McCain’s presidential campaign, Fiorina became the fundraising chair for the Republican National Committee’s “Victory” initiative. Fiorina also served on the Defense Business Board and lead the CIA’s External Advisory Board from 2007 to 2009.
The once dubbed “Most Powerful Woman in Business” ran and lost the race for U.S. Senate against California’s Barbara Boxer in 2010 by 10 points.
Fiorina spoke out against climate change in April 2015 and supported California’s Proposition 8 to make same-sex marriage illegal. Fiorina believes, however, same-sex couples should be afforded the right to civil union. Fiorina is also noted for her strong stance against relieving tensions on Iran and calls for a simplification overhaul on the U.S. tax code.
Dr. Ben Carson (R-MI)
Dr. Benjamin Carson graduated from Yale University in 1973 with a degree in Psychology. Born in Detroit, Michigan, on September 18, 1951, Carson returned to Michigan to receive his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and became a resident at Johns Hopkins University in 1977. By 1982, Carson became chief resident in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. By age 33, Carson became Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.
In 1987, Carson gained international attention for becoming the first to successfully separate conjoined twins at the head. With a team of over 70 doctors, Carson completed the surgery in 22 hours.
Carson has also authored six books and was named one of the nation’s 20 most foremost scientists and physicians by CNN and Time magazine in 2001. During the same year, the Library of Congress named Caron one of 89 “Living Legends.” In 2006, Carson received the Spingarn Medal, the highest award gifted by the NAACP. In 2009, President Barack Obama awarded Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Carson has been noted as a Conservative and criticized the Obama administration for its position on healthcare and taxation.
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Elected in 2012, Ted Cruz is the junior U.S. Senator of Texas.
In 1992, Cruz graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy. Cruz went on to attend Harvard Law School and graduated in 1995.
Born in 1970, Cruz privately practiced law in 1997-1998. The now 44 year-old Cruz served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning for the Federal Trade Commission, Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Adviser to President George W. Bush during Bush’s 2000 campaign. Cruz also taught law at the University of Texas Law School from 2004-2009. In 2003-2008, Cruz also served as the Solicitor General of Texas.
Since his time in the Senate began in 2012, Cruz has become a young but vocal member of the Republican Party. Cruz is a gun rights supporter and a strong critic of the Affordable Care Act. Cruz acknowledges the existence of global warming but denies the evidence that it is man-made. He is pro-life and has stated his belief in traditional marriage, but also believes that the decision to allow same-sex marriage is a states’ rights issue, along with the legalization of marijuana.
Rand Paul (R-KY)
Born in 1963, 52 year-old Rand Paul is the son of former Texas U.S. Representative Ron Paul.
Paul attended Baylor University from 1981 to 1984 before enrolling in the Duke School of Medicine where he received his M.D. in 1988. After college, Paul became an ophthalmologist. In 2009, Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, which helps provide eye exams and surgery for those who cannot afford to pay.
In 2010, Paul defeated Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway for U.S. Senate.
During his time in the Senate, Paul has placed himself apart from many Republicans for his desire to repeal the Patriot Act. Paul finds himself favoring less-involved government, saying the government should not be “too involved” in abortion or marriage equality. Paul wishes to slash funds for foreign aid and has stated a desire to institute a flat tax rate of 17 percent for all individuals. Paul also has stated his desire to arm the Kurds and declare war in the Middle East, but acknowledges the need for sanctions and diplomacy first.
Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Marco Rubio was born in 1971 to Cuban immigrants of Miami, Florida.
In 1989, Rubio attended Tarkio College on a football scholarship for one year before transferring to Santa Fe College. Rubio earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1993 before graduating from the University of Miami School of Law in 1996.
Upon graduation, Rubio served as the City Commissioner for West Miami before being elected into the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, where he served until 2009. During that time, Rubio also served as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009.
In 2010, Rubio was elected into the U.S. Senate, beating Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
Rubio opposed the Obama stimulus package of 2009 and identifies as pro-life. Rubio stated that radical Islam is, in his view, the greatest threat to U.S. national security. Rubio believes that marriage is a state’s rights issue, but recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman. Along with the majority of Republicans, Rubio identifies the existence of global warming but does not believe the cause is man-made.
Scott Walker (R-WI)
Two-term Wisconsin governor Scott Walker was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1967.
Unlike the rest of the presidential field, Walker does not have a collegiate degree. Walker attended Marquette University from 1986 to 1990, but dropped out in the spring semester of his senior year to take a full-time job with the American Red Cross.
In 1993, Walker defeated Democratic challenger Chris Ament for the 14th legislative district seat in the Wisconsin General Assembly. While in the Assembly, Walker chaired the Committee on Correctional Facilities and the Committee on Corrections and the Courts. Walker also served on the Health, Census and Redistricting, Financial Institutions and Housing committees respectively.
After his time in the State Assembly ended in 2002, Walker became County Executive of Milwaukee County, replacing controversial County Executive Tom Ament, father of Walker’s Assembly challenger in 1993. During his tenure, Walker reduced the number of county employees by 20 percent and turned a $3.5 billion deficit into a surplus.
Walker became Governor of Wisconsin in 2010, after dropping out of the 2006 gubernatorial election. Walker became the first governor in history to win a recall election after angering public employees with the passing of his “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” which changed the process of collective bargaining for public employees.
Walker believes that union collective bargaining rights impede the balancing of state budgets. Walker voted for Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage and believes the issue should be a matter for individual states to decide. Walker is pro-life, pro-gun and anti-marijuana legalization. Walker stated earlier this year that, if elected president, he would, “immediately rescind any prior White House-brokered deal that did not prevent Iran from attaining nuclear arms.”
Rick Perry (R-TX)
The 47th Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, was born in Paint Creek, Texas, in 1950.
Perry attended Texas A&M University in College Station where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in 1972. Upon graduation, Perry was commissioned as an Air Force officer and completed pilot training in 1974. He left the Air Force in 1977 and returned to Texas to farm cotton with his father.
In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat. In 1990, the new Republican Perry became Agriculture Commissioner for the state of Texas.
In 1998, Perry released his seat as Agriculture Commissioner and was elected Lieutenant Governor. Perry succeeded President George W. Bush as Governor of Texas in 2000. Since his election, Texas has created almost one-third of all new private sector jobs in the U.S. He then won the office in 2002 and again in 2006 and 2010, becoming the first Texas governor to be elected to three four-year terms.
Perry supported a Texas ban on same-sex marriage in 2005 and is strongly against stem cell research. Perry signed a bill in 2013 banning abortions in Texas after the pregnancy reaches 20 weeks. Like many Republicans, Perry is a true skeptic on global warming and does not believe it is a man-made issue.
Rick Santorum (R-PA)
Former senator and attorney Rick Santorum was born in Virginia in 1958.
Santorum served as the chairman of Pennsylvania State University’s College Republicans Chapter before graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In 1986, Santorum received a juris doctorate from Dickinson School of Law.
After graduation, Santorum practiced law for four years before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district in 1990. As a member of the Gang of Seven, Santorum helped expose members of Congress involved in the House banking scandal.
In 1994, Santorum was elected to the U.S. Senate. Santorum became chairman of the Senate Republican Conference in 2000. Santorum served as the Senate’s third-ranking Republican from 2001 to 2007. During his time in the Senate, Santorum supported the War on Terror and felt the war in Iraq was justified.
Santorum’s allegiance to President George W. Bush hurt Santorum in the 2006 Senate election, losing to Bob Casey, Jr. by over 700,000 votes in his Democratic-friendly district. In 2012, Santorum ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president.
Santorum considers himself pro-life and compared the Affordable Care Act to apartheid in South Africa. Santorum has spoken out against polygamy and homosexuality, fighting for laws banning the sodomy and other actions he deems, “antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.” He has stated that he does not believe the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy and opposes contraception.
Profiles Compiled By: Bradon Long
Categories: Presidential Candidates 2016 - Republicans