By: Connor Cummiskey

As students return to Ripon and classes begin, it is important to remember the elections are also just heating up. The following is a quick overview of a few of the contenders for the Democratic and Republican nominations.

Republicans:

Jeb Bush, commonly associated with his brother George W. Bush and his father George H.W. Bush, is a major contender for the Republican nomination, and is not afraid to buck some party trends. His official campaign website (jeb2016.com) offers insight into his personal background. According to The New York Times Jeb’s foreign policy calls for embedded troops in the Iraqi forces to combat ISIS, he considers the Iran deal horrific and is an unwavering supporter of Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu. When it comes to immigration, the environment and education, Jeb stands out from other Republicans by supporting a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, cutting carbon emissions (and acknowledging global warming is real), and supporting common core standards.

Donald Trump, the celebrity billionaire, has made waves by throwing his hair into the Republican nomination – and refusing to swear to not run as an Independent if he does not get it. He maintains one of the most favorable polling rates, especially in light of his inflammatory comments particularly about illegal immigrants. So far, during most of his campaign he has not given many details on how he would “make America great again.” Though, he has recently come out stating he would consider ground troops in the fight against ISIS and thinks the best way to beat the organization is by degrading its money supply by taking its oil fields away, according to his official campaign website (donaldjtrump.com). He has been flip flopping on key issues.

Carly Fiorina, is the only woman vying for the Republican ticket. She is well-known for being the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 business, according to her official campaign website (carlyforpresident.com). She became the CEO for Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 1999, though no longer holds that position. She campaigns on the idea that the founders of America never intended for there to be a professional political class. Her official website offers no clear platform, but lauds her time as CEO of HP, even in

the face of the controversy stirred around her decisions.

Democrats:

Hillary Clinton, has built her platform around fighting for the average American. Her official campaign website (hillaryclinton.com) breaks it down into four parts: fighting working class wage stagnation, cheaper child care, more affordable college, and creating opportunity for small businesses. Noting also that she is Bill Clinton’s former first lady.

Bernie Sanders, is the up-and-coming challenger to Hillary Clinton. Over the summer he has been closing the gap between their poll ratings. He is a self-identified Socialist, and is the longest serving Independent member of Congress in the U.S. (who also refuses to endorse any super pack).  According to his official campaign website (berniesanders.com) his platform is broken down into the following major components: Income and wealth inequality, getting big money out of politics, creating decent paying jobs, racial justice, living wages, real family values, climate change and the environment, and reforming Wall Street.

Martin O’Malley, is the less visible third place contender for the Democratic nomination; however, his platform (according to martinomally.com) is built from three primary, clear-cut goals: increasing American families’ median net worth by $25,000 in 10 years, generating 100 percent of American electricity with renewable energy by 2050, and cutting the unemployment rate among young people in half within three years.

But of course, do your own research and make your own decisions.