A Little History Lesson – The Signers of The Declaration of Independence

signers of declaration of independence



A Little History Lesson – The Signers of The Declaration of Independence


Look around us and what do you see? A nation that has lost its ideals and a people so steeped unto themselves that they yearn to become what our founders fought so hard not to.


The world today is in chaos which the Bible describes as the last days or the end times. Man has become lovers of themselves and disdainers of the truth. In a very real sense wrong is seen as right and right has become wrong. It has been said that those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.


The United States of America was founded on a biblical idea that all men are created equal to be free to worship Almighty God without government interference. The love of family meant honoring and protecting them was of primary importance. Life is what you make it. With hard work and perseverance one can achieve anything.


How many today would take a bold step, distained by many, yet necessary to forge ahead with a new way of life uncharted by any peoples before you? Would you band together with the intent and the vision to put everything on the line – “Your lives, your fortunes and your sacred honor” – for the cause of freedom?


Contrast that with the current political scene today, power hungry politicians turning this nation into a literal cesspool of filth and degradation ending in the death of our nation. City after city, state after state politicians are calling for your vote to what end – self-injected suicide of our country? Will you join them or stand up to them in defense of our Rule of Law – the Constitution of the United States?


I choose to honor God and Country to preserve the way of life that leads to prosperity and national security, but will you? – I am the Real Truckmaster!





Now for a little history lesson – The Signers of the Declaration of Independence


How much do you know?


About the Signers of the Declaration of Independence




All of the colonies were represented in Philadelphia to consider the delicate case for independence and to change the course of the war.


In all, there were fifty-six representatives from the thirteen colonies






New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina


South Carolina

Rhode Island



Fourteen represented the New England Colonies


Samuel Huntington (1731-1796)

Roger Sherman (1723-1793)

William Williams (1731-1811)

Oliver Wolcott (1726-1797)


John Adams (1735-1826)

Samuel Adams (1722-1803)

Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814)

John Hancock (1737-1793)

Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814)

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795)

Matthew Thornton (1714-1803)

William Whipple (1730-1785

Rhode Island

William Ellery (1727-1820)

Stephen Hopkins (1707-1785)


Twenty-one represented the Middle Colonies


Thomas McKean (1734-1817)

George Read (1733-1798)

Caesar Rodney (1728- 1784)

New Jersey

Abraham Clark (1726-1794)

John Hart (1711-1779)

Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791)

Richard Stockton (1730-1781)

John Witherspoon (1723-1794)—

New York

William Floyd (1734-1821)

Francis Lewis (1713-1802)

Philip Livingston (1716-1778)

Lewis Morris (1726-1798)


George Clymer (1739-1813)

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Robert Morris (1734-1806)

John Morton (1725-1777)

George Ross (1730-1779)

Benjamin Rush (1745-1813)

James Smith (1719-1806)

George Taylor (1716-1781)

James Wilson (1742-1798)


Twenty-one represented the Southern Colonies


Button Gwinnett (1735-1777)

Lyman Hall (1724-1790)

George Walton (1741-1804)


Charles Carroll (1737-1832)

Samuel Chase (1741-1811)

William Paca (1740-1799)

Thomas Stone (1743-1787)

North Carolina

Joseph Hewes (1730- 1779)

William Hooper (1742-1790)

John Penn (1740-1788)—

South Carolina

Thomas Heyward, Jr. (1746-1809)

Thomas Lynch, Jr. (1749-1779)

Arthur Middleton (1742-1787)

Edward Rutledge (1749-1800)


Carter Braxton (1736-1797)

Benjamin Harrison (1726-1791)

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734-1797)

Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794)

Thomas Nelson, Jr. (1738-1789)

George Wythe (1726-1806)


Most of the signers were American born

Although eight were foreign born

The ages of the signers ranged from 26 (Edward Rutledge), the majority were in their thirties or forties, to 70 (Benjamin Franklin)

More than half of the signers were lawyers

The others were planters, merchants and shippers

Together they mutually pledged “to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”

They were mostly men of means who had much to lose if the war was lost

None of the signers died at the hands of the British

One-third served as militia officers during the war

Four of the signers were taken captive during the war

Nearly all of them were poorer at the end of the war than at the beginning

No matter what each of these men did after July 1776, the actual signing of the Declaration of Independence which began on August 2 ensured them instant immortality


The following gives a bit of information about each signer AFTER the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


Samuel Huntington (1731-1796)—Samuel Huntington was a self-made man who distinguished himself in government on the state and national levels. He was the President of Congress from 1779-1781 and presided over the adoption of the Articles of Confederation in 1781.  He returned to Connecticut and was the Chief Justice of the Superior Court in 1784, Lieutenant Governor in 1785 and Governor from 1786-1796.  He was one of the first seven presidential electors from Connecticut.

Roger Sherman (1723-1793)—Roger Sherman was a member of the Committee of Five that was chosen to write the Declaration of Independence.  He and Robert Morris were the only individuals to sign the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.   He was the Judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut from 1766-1789, a member of the Continental Congress from 1774-81; 1783-84 and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.  Sherman proposed the famed “Connecticut Compromise” at the convention and represented Connecticut in the United States Senate from 1791-93.

William Williams (1731-1811)—William Williams was a graduate of Harvard, studied theology with his father and eventually became a successful merchant.  He fought in the French-Indian War and returned to Lebanon, Connecticut where he served for forty-four years as the town clerk.  He was elected to the Continental Congress from 1776-1777, and after signing the Declaration of Independence, Williams was a member of the committee that was instrumental in framing the Articles of Confederation.  He was a delegate to vote on the ratification of the Federal Constitution and also served as a Judge of the Windham County Courthouse.

Oliver Wolcott (1726-1797)—Oliver Wolcott was as much a soldier as he was a politician and served as a brigadier general in the New York campaigns from 1776-1777.  As a major general, he was involved in defending the Connecticut coast from attacks by the Royal Governor of New York.  He was Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1775 and from 1784-89, a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1775-76 and 1778-84, Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut from 1786-96 and Governor from 1796-97.


Thomas McKean (1734-1817)—Thomas McKean was the last member of the Second Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence.  He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774-81 and served as a delegate to the Congress of the Confederation from 1781-1783.  After 1783, McKean became involved in the politics of Pennsylvania becoming  Chief Justice of Pennsylvania and the Governor of Pennsylvania from 1799-1812.  He retired from politics in 1812 and died at the age of 83 in 1817.

George Read (1733-1798)—George Read was the only signer of the Declaration of Independence who voted against the proposal for independence introduced by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.  He was elected to the Continental Congress from 1774-1776, was a member of the Delaware Constitutional Convention in 1776, acting Governor of Delaware in 1777, a Judge on the Court of Appeals in 1780, State Senator from 1791-92, a United States Senator from 1789-1793 and Chief Justice of the State of Delaware from 1793-98.

Caesar Rodney (1728- 1784)—Caesar Rodney took a strong stand in favor of independence and because of that, was not reelected to Congress because of the conservatives in the state of Delaware.  They also blocked his election to the state legislature and his appointment to the state’s constitutional convention.  He was interested in military affairs and was involved in action in Delaware and New Jersey during the Revolutionary War.  He was reelected to Congress in 1777 and was nominated as state president from 1778-1781.  He died in 1784 while serving as Speaker of the Upper House of the Delaware Assembly.



Button Gwinnett (1735-1777)—After the Governor died in 1777, Button Gwinnett served as the Acting Governor of Georgia for two months, but did not achieve reelection.  His life was one of economic and political disappointment.  Button Gwinnett was the second signer of the Declaration to die as the result of a duel outside Savannah, Georgia.

Lyman Hall (1724-1790)—Lyman Hall was one of four signers trained as a minister and was a graduate of Princeton College.  During his life he also served as a doctor, governor and planter.  During the Revolutionary War, his property was destroyed and he was accused of treason.  He left Georgia and spent time in South Carolina and Connecticut to escape prosecution.  When the war was over, he went back to Georgia and began to practice medicine.  He served as Governor of Georgia from 1783-1784.

George Walton (1741-1804)—George Walton was elected to the Continental Congress in 1776, 1777, 1780 and 1781, Colonel of the First Georgia Militia, in 1778, Governor of Georgia from 1779-1780, Chief Justice of the State Superior Court of Georgia from 1783-89, a presidential elector in 1789, Governor of Georgia from 1789-1790 and a United States Senator from 1795-1796.  During the Revolutionary War, Walton was captured by the British in 1778 during the attack on Savannah and released within the year.  He was the founder of the Richmond Academy and Franklin College which later became the University of Georgia.


Charles Carroll (1737-1832)—Charles Carroll was one of the wealthiest men in America and was the oldest and longest surviving signer of the Declaration.  From 1789-1792 he served as one of Maryland’s two United States Senators.  He retired from politics in 1804 and spent the rest of his life managing his 80,000 acres of land in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.

Samuel Chase (1741-1811)—Samuel Chase was called the “Demosthenes of Maryland” for his oratorical skills.  In 1785 he represented Maryland at the Mt. Vernon conference to settle a dispute between Maryland and Virginia concerning navigation rights on the Potomac River.  He served as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1796-1811.  He was the only Supreme Court justice to be impeached in 1805.  He was charged with discriminating against supporters of Thomas Jefferson, and he was found to be not guilty.

William Paca (1740-1799)—William Paca was elected to the Continental Congress from 1774-78, appointed Chief Justice of Maryland in 1778, Governor of Maryland from 1782-1785 and Federal District Judge for the State of Maryland from 1789-99.  He was also a planter and a lawyer, but was a relatively minor figure in national affairs.  William Paca also served as a delegate to the Maryland ratification convention for the Federal Constitution.

Thomas Stone (1743-1787)—Thomas Stone was one of the most conservative of the signers along with Carter Braxton of Virginia, George Read of Delaware and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina.  He was elected to the Congress from 1775-78 and again in 1783. He was chosen to be a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 but had to decline because of the poor health of his wife.  Shortly after she died in 1787, a grief stricken Stone died a few months later before making a trip to England.


John Adams (1735-1826)—John Adams was the first Vice-President of the United States and the second President.  He was a member (along with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman) chosen to draft the Declaration of Independence.  He was the first President to attend Harvard University and the first to have a son become president.

Samuel Adams (1722-1803)—Samuel Adams was known as the “Firebrand of the Revolution” for his role as an agitator between the colonists and the British prior to the outbreak of hostilities on April 1775.  He served in the Continental Congress until 1781 and was a member of the Massachusetts State Senate from 1781-1788.  Because he was opposed to a stronger national government, Adams refused to attend the Constitutional Convention in 1787.  He served as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1789-1793 and Governor from 1794-1797.

Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814)—Elbridge Gerry served for a time as a member of the state legislature of Massachusetts. Although he attended the meetings in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution, at the end he was opposed to it because it lacked a bill of rights.   However, after a “change of heart,” he was a member of the House of Representatives for the first two Congresses from 1789-1793.  He was Governor of Massachusetts in 1810 and 1811 and died in office as Vice-President under James Madison in 1814.

John Hancock (1737-1793)—John Hancock was the President of the Second Continental Congress when the Declaration of Independence was adopted.  He, along with Samuel Adams, were the two most wanted men in the colonies by King George III.  He served as a major general during the Revolutionary War.  He was elected Governor of Massachusetts from 1780-1785 and 1787 until his death in 1793.  He was the seventh President of the United States in Congress assembled, from November 23, 1785 to June 6, 1786.  John Hancock was one of the original “fathers” of U.S. independence.

Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814)—Robert Treat Paine was elected to the Continental Congress, in 1774 and 1776, Attorney General for Massachusetts from 1777-1796, Judge, Supreme Court of Massachusetts from 1796-1804 and State Counselor in 1804.  During his time in Congress, Paine concentrated primarily on military and Indian concerns.  Because of his opposition to many proposals, he was known as the “Objection Maker.”  Paine was one of the original founders of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795)—Josiah Bartlett served in Congress until 1779 and then refused reelection because of fatigue.  On the state level he served as the first Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (1779-1782), Associate (1782-1788) and Chief justice of the Superior Court (1788-1790).  Bartlett founded the New Hampshire Medical Society in 1791 and was the Governor of New Hampshire (1793-1794).

Matthew Thornton (1714-1803)—Matthew Thornton served as Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, was an Associate Justice of the Superior Court and was elected to the Continental Congress in 1776.  He was one of six members who signed the Declaration of Independence after it was adopted by the Continental Congress.  He left Congress to return to New Hampshire to become an Associate Justice of the State Superior Court.  He spent his remaining years farming and operating a ferry on the Merrimack River.

William Whipple (1730-1785)—William Whipple was a former sea captain who commanded troops during the Revolutionary War and was a member of the Continental Congress from 1776-1779.  General Whipple was involved in the successful defeat of General John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.  He was a state legislator in New Hampshire from 1780-1784, Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court from 1782-1785, and a receiver for finances for the Congress of the Confederation.  He suffered from heart problems and died while traveling his court circuit in 1785.

New Jersey

Abraham Clark (1726-1794)—Abraham Clark was a farmer, surveyor and politician who spent most of his life in public service.  He was a member of the New Jersey state legislature, represented his state at the Annapolis Convention in 1786, and was opposed to the Constitution until it incorporated a bill of rights.  He served in the United States Congress for two terms from 1791 until his death in 1794.

John Hart (1711-1779)—John Hart became the Speaker of the Lower House of the New Jersey state legislature.  His property was destroyed by the British during the course of the Revolutionary War, and his wife died three months after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  During the ravaging of his home, Hart spent time in the Sourland Mountains in exile.

Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791)—Francis Hopkinson was a judge and lawyer by profession but also was a musician, poet and artist.  When the Revolutionary War was over, he became one of the most respected writers in the country.  He was later appointed Judge to the U.S. Court for the District of Pennsylvania in 1790.

Richard Stockton (1730-1781)—Richard Stockton was trained to be a lawyer and graduated from the College of New Jersey.  He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1776 and was the first of the New Jersey delegation to sign the Declaration of Independence.  In November 1776 he was captured by the British and was eventually released in 1777 in very poor physical condition.  His home at Morven was destroyed by the British during the war and he died in 1781 at the age of 50.

John Witherspoon (1723-1794)—John Witherspoon was the only active clergyman among the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  He was elected to the Continental Congress from 1776-1782, elected to the state legislature in New Jersey from 1783-1789 and was the president of the College of New Jersey from 1768-1792.  In his later years he spent a great deal of time trying to rebuild the College of New Jersey (Princeton).

New York

William Floyd (1734-1821)—William Floyd had his estate in New York destroyed by the British and Loyalists during the Revolutionary War.  He was a member of the United States Congress from 1789-1791 and was a presidential elector from New York four times.  He was later a major general in the New York militia and served as a state senator.

Francis Lewis (1713-1802)—Francis Lewis was one who truly felt the tragedy of the Revolutionary War.  His wife died as an indirect result of being imprisoned by the British, and he lost all of his property on Long Island, New York during the war.  When his wife died, Lewis left Congress and completely abandoned politics.

Philip Livingston (1716-1778)—Philip Livingston was not in Philadelphia to vote on the resolution for Independence, but did sign the actual Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.  During the Revolutionary War, the British used Livingston’s houses in New York as a navy hospital and a barracks for the troops.  He was the third signer to die after John Morton of Pennsylvania and Button Gwinnett of Georgia.

Lewis Morris (1726-1798)—Lewis Morris was a delegate to the Continental Congress, from 1775-77, a county judge in Worchester, New York from 1777-1778, served in the New York state legislature from 1777-1781 and 1784-1788 and was a member of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.  During the Revolutionary War, Morris was a brigadier-general in the New York state militia, and all three of his sons served under General George Washington.

North Carolina

Joseph Hewes (1730- 1779)—Joseph Hewes was a merchant who was one of the most conservative signers of the Declaration of Independence.  He was a graduate of Princeton College, and he along with John Adams helped to establish the Continental Navy.  He was a member of the state legislature from 1778-1779 and was eventually reelected to the Continental Congress. He died a month after his reelection.

William Hooper (1742-1790)—William Hooper was a graduate of Harvard College and was highly successful in law and politics.  Because of his family situation and financial difficulties, he resigned from Congress to return to North Carolina.  During the war he was separated from his family for ten months and his property was destroyed.  After the war, he was elected to the state legislature and served there through 1786.

John Penn (1740-1788)—John Penn was one of sixteen signers of the Declaration of Independence who also signed the Articles of Confederation.  He was a member of the Continental Congress from 1775-77; 1779-80 and a member of the Board of War in 1780 which shared responsibility for military affairs with the governor. In 1784 he became a state tax receiver under the Articles of Confederation.  After retiring from politics, he practiced law until his death in 1788.


George Clymer (1739-1813)—George Clymer had a great deal of financial talent and signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  His home was vandalized by the British in 1777 during the American Revolutionary War.  He served in the Pennsylvania state legislature from 1784-1788 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1789-1791.  He was later appointed as “collector of taxes” on alcoholic beverages (especially whiskey) in Pennsylvania from 1791-1794.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)—After the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin helped to negotiate the Treaty of Alliance with France in 1778 and the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War in 1783.  He was one of the framers of the Constitution and was known as the “Sage of the Convention.”  He was also elected President of the Pennsylvania Society for the Promoting of the Abolition of Slavery.

Robert Morris (1734-1806)—Robert Morris has been considered the  “Financier of the Revolution,” and contributed his own money to help such causes as the support of troops at Valley Forge and the battles of Trenton and Princeton.  In 1781 he suggested a plan that became the Bank of North America and was the Superintendent of Finance under the Articles of Confederation.  Morris was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, and was later offered the position of Secretary of the Treasury under the administration of George Washington.  He declined the position and suggested Alexander Hamilton who became our first Secretary of the Treasury. He served as a United States Senator from Pennsylvania from 1789-1795.

John Morton (1725-1777)—John Morton was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence to die and was one of nine signers from Pennsylvania.   He was elected to the Second Continental Congress from 1774-77, and was the chairman of the committee that reported the Articles of Confederation.  He contracted an inflammatory fever and died in Ridley Park, Delaware County, Pa., in April 1777, and is buried in St. Paul’s Burial Ground in Chester, Pennsylvania.

George Ross (1730-1779)—George Ross was elected to the Second Continental Congress from 1776-1777, was a colonel in the Continental Army in 1776; was Vice President of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention in 1776 and Judge of the Admiralty Court of Pennsylvania in 1779.  He was not a member of Congress when it voted for independence on July 2, 1776.  Because of illness, he was forced to resign his seat in Congress in 1777.

Benjamin Rush (1745-1813)—Benjamin Rush was elected to the Continental Congress in 1776, appointed Surgeon General in the Middle Department of the Continental Army in 1777, instructor and physician at the University of Pennsylvania in 1778, Treasurer of the U.S. Mint from 1779-1813, and professor of Medical Theory and Clinical Practice at the University of Pennsylvania from 1791-1813.  During the Revolutionary War, Rush was part of an unsuccessful plot to relieve General George Washington of his military command.  He was the most well-known doctor and medical instructor in the United States.  He was a trustee of Dickinson College, helped to found the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and was a member of the American Philosophical Society.

James Smith (1719-1806)—James Smith was elected to the Continental Congress on July 20, 1776 after the votes had been taken on the resolution for independence and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  From 1779-1782 he held a number of state offices including one term in the state legislature and a few months as a Judge of the state High Court of Appeals. He was also appointed a brigadier general in the Pennsylvania militia in 1782.

George Taylor (1716-1781)—George Taylor came to the colonies as an indentured servant and eventually was an Ironmaster at the Warwick Furnace and Coventry Forge.  He was a member of the Continental Congress from 1775-1777.  He returned to Pennsylvania and was elected to the new Supreme Executive Assembly, but served for a very short period of time because of illness and financial difficulties.   His Durham Furnace manufactured ammunition for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

James Wilson (1742-1798)—James Wilson was elected to the Congress from 1775-77 and 1785-87, chosen to be one of the directors of the Bank of North America in 1781, a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and appointed by President George Washington to be an Associate Justice to the US. Supreme Court from 1789-1798.  He experienced personal and financial difficulty in his later years and spent time in debtor’s prison while serving on the Supreme Court.

South Carolina

Thomas Heyward, Jr. (1746-1809)—Thomas Heyward was a planter and lawyer and was one of three signers from South Carolina captured and imprisoned by the British.  He signed the Articles of Confederation while a member of the Continental Congress.  He returned to South Carolina and became a judge and a member of the state legislature.  The British destroyed Heyward’s home at White Hall during the war and he was held prisoner until 1781.  After the war, he served two terms in the state legislature from 1782-1784.  Thomas Heyward became the first President of the Agricultural Society of South Carolina.

Thomas Lynch, Jr. (1749-1779)—Thomas Lynch, Jr. was an aristocratic planter who was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence to die at the age of thirty.  He was trained as a lawyer and graduated from Cambridge University in England, and was elected to the Second Continental Congress to carry on the duties of his ill father.  Thomas Lynch Sr. and Thomas Lynch Jr. were the only father and son team to serve concurrently in the Continental Congress.  Thomas Lynch, Jr. and his wife were enroute to France in 1779 when their ship was lost at sea.

Arthur Middleton (1742-1787)—Arthur Middleton was chosen to replace his more conservative father in the Continental Congress in 1776, but failed to attend most of the sessions.  He was captured by the British and was held captive for over a year in St. Augustine, Florida.  During the time of his incarceration, the British destroyed most of his property.  After his release in 1781, Middleton returned to politics and served in the Virginia state legislature and was a trustee of the College of Charleston.

Edward Rutledge (1749-1800)—Edward Rutledge was elected to the Continental Congress from 1774-76 and 1779, a captain in the Charleston Battalion of Artillery from 1776-1779, a state legislator from 1782-1798, College of Electors in the presidential elections of 1788, 1792, 1796 and elected Governor for South Carolina in 1798.  He was the youngest of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  During the Revolutionary War, Rutledge was a military captain involved in the campaigns at Port Royal Island and Charleston, South Carolina.  He was captured by the British in 1780 and held as a prisoner until 1781.  From 1782-1798 Rutledge was a member of the state legislature and was elected Governor in 1798.


Rhode Island

William Ellery (1727-1820)—William Ellery served with distinction in the Congress of the Confederation until 1786 when he accepted the post of Commissioner of the Continental Loan Office of Rhode Island.  He served in that position until 1790 when he was appointed Customs Collector in Newport.   Although the British destroyed his home during the American Revolution, Ellery was later able to rebuild his fortune.

Stephen Hopkins (1707-1785)—Stephen Hopkins was the second oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence (next to Benjamin Franklin).  He served on the committee that was responsible for the creation of the Articles of Confederation.  He was forced to resign from the Congress in 1776 because of health problems, but was elected to the state legislature of Rhode Island upon his return.



Carter Braxton (1736-1797)—Carter Braxton was elected to the Virginia state legislature after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and also served on the Governor’s Executive Council.  The American Revolutionary War caused him great hardship and he died in financial ruin in Richmond, Virginia.

Benjamin Harrison (1726-1791)—Benjamin Harrison was nicknamed the “Falstaff of Congress” and was the father of President William Henry Harrison and great-grandfather of President Benjamin Harrison.  He was the Speaker of the Lower House of the Virginia state legislature from 1777-1781 and served three terms as Governor of Virginia from 1781-1783.  He was originally in opposition of the new Federal Constitution, but later favored it when it was decided to add a bill of rights.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)—Thomas Jefferson was the chief author of the Declaration of Independence.  He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1776-79, elected Governor of Virginia in 1779 and 1780, the Associate Envoy to France in 1784, Minister to the French Court in 1785, United States Secretary of State from 1789-1793, Vice President of the United States from 1791-1801, President of the United States from 1801-1809 and established the University of Virginia in 1810.  He was one of the most brilliant men of his time.

Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734-1797)—Francis Lightfoot Lee was the younger brother of Richard Henry Lee.  He signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation as well as serving on both the military and marine committees during his time in Congress.  He left Congress in 1779 and served a few years in the Virginia state legislature.

Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794)—Richard Henry Lee introduced the resolution for independence to the Second Continental Congress in June 1776. He was a Virginia state legislator from 1780-1784 and served in the national Congress again from 1784-1789.  He was initially opposed to the Constitution because it lacked a bill of rights, but he was elected Senator from Virginia from 1789-1792.  However, Lee was forced to resign in 1792 due to poor health.

Thomas Nelson, Jr. (1738-1789)—Thomas Nelson, Jr. had his Congressional career shortened because of health problems.  He served as the commanding General of the Lower Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War.  He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1775-77; 1779 and was elected Governor of Virginia in 1781 after Thomas Jefferson declined reelection.  He spent his remaining years handling his business affairs.

George Wythe (1726-1806)—George Wythe was more well-known as being a classical scholar who taught such great men as Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Marshall and Henry Clay.  He was elected to the Continental Congress from 1775-76, Speaker of the Virginia House from 1777-78 and judge of the Chancery Court of Virginia from 1789-1806.  He was also appointed the first chair of law at the College of William and Mary.  Wythe died mysteriously in 1806 by being poisoned.

Complete Transparency the Good Bad and the Ugly



Complete Transparency the Good Bad and the Ugly


Politicians like to campaign on full transparency in office if they are elected. Other politicians want full transparency for everyone else. Still other politicians while claiming full transparency often choose to hide behind a veil of closed doors.


The years before television and the internet transparency in government was WYSIWYG. From George Washington to Abraham Lincoln the President often travelled around the nation by horseback and at times with an aide or traveling companion. It was quite common for everyday citizens coming to the White House to be personally greeted by the President.


In recent history Barack Obama declared his to be the most transparent administration in history, when in fact much of this administration was soon shielded behind the closed doors of secrecy. America was fine with that as what they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them. However the behind the scenes weaponizing of the IRS, DOJ and other cabinet officials was something no other president had done.


I was born during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration and I have never seen a more openly transparent presidential administration than that of Donald Trump who began his administration with meetings and official events opened to the public, through media events and rallies. Trump’s openness to using Twitter allowed him to speak directly to the people without the filtering from the media. The pushback was almost instantaneous as legislators and media were unable to control or manipulate the content of his tweets. The public display of the Mueller Investigation as it proceeded to wade through the seemingly unlimited mountain of evidence was unheard of and most inappropriate, yet designed to focus public opinion away from the growing economy and away from the national security crisis along the US/Mexico southern border.


Due to the nature of transparency it brings out the good, the bad and the ugly. What is normally kept private is now public. Laundry whether clean or dirty becomes visible and subject to abuse and misuse by unscrupulous individuals within political parties and in the media to the extent that words, actions and deeds are all out there.


It is not necessary for the public to know the inner workings of any government entity, unless that entity has become overtly corrupt. In that event it is the citizens of this great nation who are the oversight. It then becomes necessary to demand a course correction and new leadership for that entity.


When the president loses confidence and trust in his cabinet officials it is his responsibility to replace that individual. In many cases it is the responsibility of congress to advise and approve. It then becomes necessary to hold that person responsible for their own actions and the actions or failure to act of the entire agency. Everyone works for somebody. Transparency should be like looking at a working model of a clock where one can see the ticking and the toking, hands moving and gears turning – tic toc, tic toc. – I am the Real Truckmaster!




DOJ Investigations Are Not Reality TV



DOJ Investigations Are Not Reality TV


Prior to the Mueller Investigation of President Trump I can’t remember when a federal investigation became a reality television show? In hindsight it becomes clear that the Obama administration’s weaponizing of government agencies and combining them with continuously “leaked to the press” information was an illegal political stunt designed to erode confidence in the office of the President and President Donald Trump.


Take the secret tarmac meeting of former President Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch which was broadcast on cable news programs. The cover story was they talked about their grandkids. It was much more than that as Hillary Clinton was under investigation over her private email server and the mess with classified emails.


Did you not wonder why Barack Obama, the DOJ and especially members of the Congress would turn an arrest or shooting of an actual bad guy into a racially divisive incident and Barack Obama and the DOJ came out publically in front of media cameras on the side of the offender?


It now makes perfect sense that the Mueller Investigation from its inception was a huge sham. It was a political stunt that made a mockery of the office of the Special Counsel and the office of the President, but our entire form of government and the fact that it was on all the major media outlets, in the papers and on the internet desensitized the American public to what was going on.


The recent ongoing sham of the House Oversight Committee publically calling out and attempting to shame President Trump’s Attorney General William Barr and do a repeat of the Mueller Investigation on live TV is an outrage.


It is time the office of the Attorney General AND the Department of Justice get away from the prying eyes of the media and do their job of investigating criminal wrongdoing, building their case to be presented in a court of law and holding people responsible for their actions.


There will be investigations in the future that must be conducted outside the media so that allegations are investigated, facts gathered and those found guilty of criminal wrongdoing are held accountable for their actions.


All attempts by the media to utilize “leakers” must be stopped and all parties who violate the sacred trust of their office, employment or the law must be promptly prosecuted.


Reality is not a show! – I am the Real Truckmaster!




The Political Correctness of Congress



The Political Correctness of Congress


Take into account all the hubbub and circus atmosphere put on by Congressional Democrats over the past 2+ years and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see through the smog.


During the 8 years of Obama the Executive Branch ran cart blanch through the US treasury, social security, welfare while stripping down our military forces and enforcing paper tiger threats which were more like school yard brawls.


Under Obama the US handed untold amounts of cash $$ to Iran in the hopes of pacifying things in the Middle East until the handoff (which didn’t happen) to Hillary after the 2016 election. Even the Russian Federation received its share of the booty – Uranium One. China continued to import their products and spy’s into the US for technological theft. Considering Obama left the Senate to become President in 2009 I ask myself what has Congress done? Nada!


Speaker Pelosi rammed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) through the House and even LOCKED THE HOUSE DOORS refusing to let Republican members in for the vote. Bet you don’t remember that? What about Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac; Cash for Clunkers; Mexican Gun Running & ACORN voter fraud?


Under Trump what we’ve see mostly from Congress is resistance and obstruction. In spite of the delay tactics and outward hostility toward the President the policies Trump has put in place have benefited the citizens and have grown the economy in record numbers.


So what has happened to the US Congress? There are members of Congress who are still in office since the days of the Kennedy administration. There are over 242 congressionally approved caucuses which act as congressional lobbying groups with many along party, religious, racial, ethnic, or sexual lines. They act as congressional labor unions pressuring or coercing congressional members toward specific political agendas.  This affects EVERY member of Congress, whether in the House or Senate.


Democratically chaired committees make a mockery of their constitutional authority and in many cases conduct themselves outside that authority. The constitutional balance of powers does not make the House or the Senate superior to the Executive or Judicial Branches.  Every branch of government has citizen oversight maintained by the Constitution.


Again, I ask what happened to the US Congress, is it political correctness run amuck so that every word, action or deed undertaken by the President is dissected and ultimately pushed on the American people as offensive. Being offended is a decision. If anything American citizens should be offended, outraged by the conduct of the Congress?


Congressional House and Senate ethics committees have been created to maintain a sense of respectability and decorum among their members. Congressional ethics committees are emplaced to insure ethical conduct, we have yet to see anyone from the Democratic Party in Congress disciplined for their behavior, even when calling for the assassination of the sitting President of the United States. This is unconscionable and worthy of dismissal from committees, sub-committees and removal from office.


How does one restore honor to Congress when dishonorable persons are primarily the ones being voted into office? When voters fail to demand results from their elected officials or hold them to the same standards of conduct required of public service where does the blame land? We are approaching the upcoming 2020 presidential election and voters once again have the opportunity to make a difference. The question is do voters have the WILL to make the necessary change?


Look around at YOUR city. Do you see signs of chaos, extreme poverty, homelessness and lawlessness? Are your elected – city, county, state or federal elected officials Democrats or Republicans?  Do the promise to clean up or fix things? Have they delivered on those promises? What is their tract record? Are they results oriented or full of hot political air? Do you even care?


America is a nation of winners and overcomers. Our citizens have opportunities available in no other nation or society. We are pioneers in industry and technology. The sky is literally beyond limits when hard work and determination are channeled into accomplishments.


“Winners focus on Winning; Losers focus on Winners” – Unknown. What are you focused on? I am the Real Truckmaster!




Trickle Down Corruption



Trickle Down Corruption


In business and in politics it is well known that the trickle-down theory works. Those at the top become rich while those at the bottom get the crumbs. Hillary knows and that’s why her preposterous statement on Trump’s Tax Cuts was that middle and lower class tax cuts were just crumbs, while CEOs and corporations make huge profits and pay less in taxes.


The same is true in politics. It is well known that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those with the most political power are the ones who have the most money to buy or pay off anyone who gets in the way as they manipulate they’re power over people. The more money, more people and more people equates to more power. (Saul Alinsky mentioned something like that in his books.)


Looking back at the 2008 election all eyes were on Hillary Clinton as the DNC’s presumptive nominee. Her campaign was strong against the GOP nominee John McCain. All lights were green and she was good to go, until eclipsed by her Senatorial colleague from Illinois – Barack Obama. He literally took the air out of Hillary’s parade and ended up the Democratic nominee but the election to become the 44th President of the United States.


It’s interesting to note that Barack Obama came out of the political climate of Chicago, Illinois, the home town of Stephen A. Douglas who ran against Abraham Lincoln. Chicago became the political powerhouse in the Midwest and in the nation where unions and politics were at one time controlled by Mayor Dailey, a single most powerful man in politics at that time.


What I often refer to as Chicago Politics is a different way of thinking and interpreting a rule of law that often excludes the version outlined in the US Constitution. There is a right way, a wrong way and the Chicago way to do things.


Obama brought the Chicago way into the Presidency upon his inauguration in 2009. From the start he did things as Frank Sinatra would say, “My Way”, the Obama way. Don’t forget that Obama was appointed to fill a state Senate vacancy and stayed in office for 8 years learning the political ropes. The nation had not been exposed to him during those years. Before that Obama had been elected to the US Senate from Illinois where he spent 8 years fine tuning his run for the White House.


Obama brought into his inner circle, his White House staff and his administration Yes men and Yes women to do his bidding. Hillary Clinton became one of them as Obama’s Secretary of State. It was her participation trophy for losing the nomination to him. It placed her in a very peculiar and powerful position as the former First Lady and former Senator in a highly visible cabinet level position. Her accomplishments as SOS were simply doing as she was told and Benghazi 9/11/2012 was but one example where American lives were unnecessarily lost. Her decision to run private email servers out of her two private residences, bypassing Federal Cyber Security Protocol enabled early on foreign operatives to hack into her email account and accumulate real time copies of each email received and sent. Many of those emails were sensitive in nature, and often highly classified.


Obama used special “Czars” as bridges between him and his cabinet officials. Czars were often members of known terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. This was highly unconstitutional if not outright illegal.


Among other things the Affordable Care Act was pushed through Congress without allowing sufficient time for members to read, discuss or input into it. It was a means of controlling the massive medical system and determine who could or would be seen, how and if they would be treated, and how much it would cost. Priority was given to provide free healthcare to the unemployed while employers and employees would pay a massive and substantially high cost or face unreasonable fines for non-compliance. Some might even call it extortion by the government.


There were other displays of power which went unchecked or ignored by the Congress and way over the heads of American citizens. Like the extensive and massive immigration of migrants from the Middle East into select areas of the upper Midwest. Many of the migrants had undergone virtually no background checks or investigations and determining or verifying their identity was impossible or not done at all.


Welfare programs were expanded and offers of free stuff given to those who were unable or unwilling to work. This was simply a means of insuring dependency upon the government and was a form of indentured servitude (slavery). After 8 years of the Obama presidency the Transformation of America was well underway and virtually unopposed by Congress or the American people. Chicago style politics had reached a plateau in national politics. Obama was heralded as the fixer of all time. After 16 years in political office and 8 years as president his showmanship was on full display and everyone loved Barack Obama.


Even Stevie Wonder can see that political corruption was evident in the Obama administration. The next phase would begin once Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election. Foreign powers had been apologized to extensively over an 8 year period. Hush money had been delivered, retainers received and sacred precious metals had been provided. The rich had become richer, the poor were still poor and the uninformed were very much still uninformed. Like an overripe tomato hanging on the vine, the stage had been set for the final curtain in the “Take down of America” with nobody the wiser. The corruption of the American political system was all but complete.


God had other plans. The unexpected, the unthinkable, the unfathomable happened. Hillary lost the 2016 election to political outsider Donald Trump with campaign promises to drain the swamp, build the wall and change the direction America’s government was going, he promised to make America great again.


This would become a most challenging presidency as corruption had encompassed the Democratic Party completely and seeped into the Republican Party as well. Both Chambers of Congress had been infected with a virus known as the #TrumpDerangementSyndrome (DTS Virus). This caused offshoots of the DTS Virus known as #ResistanceVirus, #TrumpOffendsMe and more popularly as the #WokeVirus. It’s not hard to follow many of these viruses directly to their source in various democratically controlled Caucuses within the Congress. They are nothing more than violations of the RICO statute where one or more individuals have cohered, colluded or intimidated members of Congress away from doing their collective and individual duties and attempting to bring the US government to a complete and total halt.


They are prime examples of Trickle-Down Corruption in American Politics. Left unchecked everyone loses! I am the Real Truckmaster!




Spy vs Surveillance



Spy vs Surveillance


The recent back and forth between the House and the DOJ/FBI is akin to the pot calling the kettle black don’t you think? Does one go to RentaSpy.com or RentaSurveillancePerson.com to inquire about having someone watched for a specific purpose?


Back in the olden days wasn’t that the job of hiring a private investigator?


I can see Bond, James Bond tell the beautiful brunette or blonde babe that he is in the surveillance business for an organization he is not at liberty to divulge or he’d have to kill you. Wouldn’t it just be easier to follow the script and say he works for MI-6 as an international spy?


I have compiled bits of information available online with Merriam Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com) to help clarify this tit for tat discussion.


Definition of spy

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1: to watch secretly usually for hostile purposes

2: to catch sight of

3: to search or look for intensively


intransitive verb

1: to observe or search for something

2: to watch secretly as a spy


Definition of spy

(Entry 2 of 2)

1: one that spies:

  • one who keeps secret watch on a person or thing to obtain information
  • a person employed by one nation to secretly convey classified information of strategic importance to another nation
  • a person who conveys the trade secrets of one company to another

2: an act of spying


Synonyms for spy: Verb

behold, catch, descry, discern, distinguish, espy, eye, look (at), note, notice, observe, perceive, regard, remark, see, sight, spot, view, witness


Synonyms: Noun

agent, asset, emissary, intelligencer, mole, operative, spook, undercover


Examples of spy in a Sentence


  • They were accused of spying for a foreign government.
  • I spy a motel off in the distance, so let’s spend the night there.



Definition of Surveillance


Definition of surveillance

Close watch kept over someone or something (as by a detective)


Synonyms for surveillance

care, charge, guidance, headship, oversight, regulation, stewardship, superintendence, superintendency, supervision


Examples of surveillance in a Sentence

  • Government surveillance of suspected terrorists
  • The bank robbery was recorded by surveillance video cameras.


Recent Example on the Web


It was revealed earlier this year that Horowitz’s office was investigating allegations of government surveillance abuse tied to the start of the Russia probe. — Brooke Singman, Fox News, “Peter Strzok grilled for hours on Capitol Hill over any involvement in start of Russia probe,” 2 Oct. 2018


Example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘surveillance.’ **Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.


So to wiretap a phone, hide microphones in lamps, desks, tables or other furniture for the purpose of obtaining (and recording) information which might incriminate someone is it called spying on them or simply conducting surveillance? Does it depend upon “who” is doing it or to “whom” it was done?


Legally must there be probable cause to obtain a warrant?

What are the criteria for a FISA court warrant?

Who is responsible for gathering the probable cause info?

Who presents it to the FISA court judge?

Who authorizes the operation to proceed?

Who makes the determination to compile all the “incriminating evidence” (dotting the I’s and crossing all the t’s) and present it to higher authority?

Who is that higher authority?

At what point is authorization given to “leak” it to the media or to the public?

Who is held ultimately accountable?


I don’t think a reasonable person would have any problem connecting the dots and with a little investigative skill (and lots of luck) be able to place names in the appropriate places in the narrative above to see if wrong doing (illegal activity) occurred and attach the correct name(s).


The fact that operatives from the outgoing Obama administration would sabotage, falsify or alter documents, personnel and assets in order to prevent the new incoming Trump administration to begin functioning immediately places a lot of people suspect and culpable to criminal prosecution for treasonous action. Regardless of the number of participants it is ultimately the responsibility of the outgoing President (Barack Obama).


In my opinion (I’m no legal scholar) equally responsible and just as guilty of wrong doing are the members of Congress who bullied, colluded and conspired other members of Congress to the point that the “Mob Mentality” ruled the day and for more than 2 years. There are many moving parts yet to be seen, but like a roadmap all roads lead back to Barack Obama. – I am the Real Truckmaster!




Democratic Candidates for the 2020 Presidential Campaign

5-7-2019 (as of)


Democratic Candidates for the 2020 Presidential Campaign


I thought it would be appropriate to contrast President Donald J. Trump’s Campaign Promises Made, Promises Kept with his tract record on Jobs, The Economy, National Security, Tariff’s, Sanctions and America First, then compare what the 22 current Democratic contenders pledged to bring to the table to entice American voters.


Keep in mind that out of the 100 Senators and 435 Representatives in Congress there are 7 Senators and 5 Representatives who feel they can take on President Trump. That being said I feel that there may be only one serious contender and you might be surprised at who I feel that is, because name recognition has yet to be established.


It’s been said, “Winners focus on Winning, Losers focus on Winners”.  It takes commitment, dedication, tenacity and hard work toward an identifiable goal to cross the finish line first and hoping gets you nowhere fast. – I am the Real Truckmaster!








The 2020 presidential campaign has begun, and since the inception of the modern primary system, there have never been as many Democratic candidates in the field. Here’s the list of those hoping to win the chance to take on President Trump in the 2020 election.



  1. Michael Bennet, Colorado senator
  • Colorado senator elected in 2009
    • Spent seven years in the private sector where served as director of the Anschutz Investment Company
    • In 2003, Bennet became the chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
    • Left Hickenlooper’s office in 2005 to become superintendent of the Denver Public School system, where he helped pass a merit pay system for teachers
    • Appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar in 2009 and promptly re-elected the following year
  • Issues: Public option for health care, climate change, immigration, education


  1. Joe Biden, former vice president
  • Former vice president and senator from Delaware
    • Although he is widely known for his tight-knit relationship with President Obama during his time in the White House, Biden served in Congress for 35 years and ran two unsuccessful campaigns for president.
    • Biden decided to launch an underdog campaign for one of Delaware’s Senate seats in 1972, eventually beating a 12-year incumbent. His surprising victory, however, was overshadowed by tragedy. Biden lost his first wife, Neilia Hunter, and 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, to a car crash days before Christmas.
    • During his long tenure in Congress, Biden solidified himself as one of the most influential members of the Senate, leading the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees during different terms.
    • Biden sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008, dropping out during the primary in both. After Biden left the 2008 race, Mr. Obama picked the Delaware senator to be his running mate.
    • After Mr. Obama’s historic election, Biden resigned from the Senate to be sworn in as vice president in 2009. Over the years, he was a loyal advocate for Mr. Obama’s policies and the two developed a strong friendship.
    • In May 2015, his eldest son, Beau, died at age 46 after a battle with brain cancer. Beau’s death was one of the reasons his father opted not to run for president in 2016, a decision he has repeatedly said he regrets.
    • He launched his 2020 bid on April 25 with a video criticizing Mr. Trump for his response to the Charlottesville riots.
  • Issues: Non noted




  1. Cory Booker, New Jersey senator
  • New Jersey senator elected in 2013, and former Newark mayor
    • Booker says he is running to restore “civic grace in America.”
    • He first gained prominence as the young and charismatic mayor of Newark, New Jersey, from 2006 to 2013.
    • He has introduced a bill to study reparations for descendants of slaves.
    • Was a chief architect of the First Step Act, a criminal sentencing law signed by Mr. Trump in 2018.
  • Issues: Has made criminal justice reform and the decriminalization of marijuana his central issues, and also says environmental policy will be high on his agenda.



  1. Pete Buttigieg, South Bend Indiana mayor
  • South Bend, Indiana, mayor, elected in 2011
    • Served in Afghanistan as member of Navy Reserve while he was mayor. At 37 years of age, is the youngest of the contenders, and is also openly gay and married;
    • Took on Vice President Mike Pence, an ardent foe of gay marriage. “[I]f you have a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” he said in April.
    • Unsuccessfully attempted to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee after the 2016 election.
    • Speaks often about his Christian faith.
  • Issues: Has focused on improving higher education and health care. Has also proposed a plan to add six seats to the Supreme Court in an effort to reduce judicial partisanship.



  1. Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary
  • Former Housing and Urban Development secretary and former mayor of San Antonio
    • Focused on stabilizing housing market and preserving affordable housing in the wake of the financial crisis.
    • Is the identical twin of Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro.
    • Served in the large ceremonial job of mayor of San Antonio before joining the Obama administration as HUD secretary.
    • If elected, would be first Hispanic president.
  • Issues: Is the first Democrat to have released a comprehensive immigration plan. Says he is also focusing on affordable college and health care.



  1. John Delaney, former Maryland representative
  • Former Maryland congressman
    • Was the first candidate in the field, declaring in July 2017.
    • Co-founded two profitable companies, both of which are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Issues: Has promised to support only bipartisan bills during his first 100 days in office if elected. Priorities include ethics reform in government. Has also promised to launch a $500 billion national affordable housing program, and also favors a carbon tax to combat climate change.



  1. Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii representative
  • Hawaii representative, elected in 2012
    • Is an officer in the Army National Guard who served in Iraq.
    • Has questioned whether Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad ordered chemical attack on his own people, and in 2017 attracted controversy by meeting with him in Syria. Remains unwilling to say that Assad is an adversary of the U.S.
    • Endorsed Bernie Sanders for president in 2016, resigning her post as DNC vice chair to do so.
    • Was the first Hindu member of Congress.
  • Issues: Says her main issue is “war and peace.” Would end what she says are “America’s interventionist wars of regime change.”



  1. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York senator
  • New York senator since 2009 and former New York representative
    • Elected to an upstate New York U.S. House seat in 2006, she was chosen to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacancy created when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009.
    • Considered a moderate in the House, she became more liberal after her promotion to the Senate.
    • Known as a stalwart critic of Mr. Trump.
  • Issues: Highlights many women’s issues in her candidacy. Has fought to bring attention to sexual assault in the U.S. military. Favors “Medicare for All” and the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


  1. Mike Gravel, former Alaska senator
  • Former Alaska senator between 1969 and 1981
    • Staunch opponent of the Vietnam War, Gravel was perhaps best known for reading the “Pentagon Papers” into the public record.
    • Ran for Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 on a left-wing, anti-war platform. Briefly achieved viral celebrity due to his pugnacious debate performances and eccentric campaign ads.
  • Issues: At age 88, says he is not interested in winning the presidency, but is running anyway to highlight issues he feels are important. Favors a non-interventionist foreign policy, direct democracy, and universal health care.



  1. Kamala Harris, California senator
  • California senator, elected in 2016; former California attorney general
    • Has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and has subjected Trump nominees like Brett Kavanaugh to fierce questioning.
    • As California attorney general, created a reentry program for nonviolent, first-time drug offenders to help bring down recidivism rates.
    • Was elected to the Senate in 2016.
    • Is the daughter of a Jamaican father and and Indian mother.
  • Issues: Advocates for criminal justice and immigration reform; wants to give U.S. teachers a $13,500 average pay raise; has introduced middle- and lower-class tax cut



  1. John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor
  • Former Colorado governor and Denver mayor
    • Began his career as a geologist and later became a successful brewpub operator, with 15 locations in Colorado.
    • Was a pro-business governor who emphasized consensus building.
    • Has struggled to explain his beliefs, such as whether he is a capitalist or a socialist; has settled on emphasizing background as entrepreneur.
    • Hates negative ads so much he vowed not run any negative ads during his gubernatorial campaigns.
  • Issues: Signed expansion of Medicaid in Colorado; oversaw legalization of marijuana, though he personally opposed it. Says he wants to bring consensus-style governing to Washington.



  1. Jay Inslee, Washington governor
  • Washington governor and former Washington congressman
    • Was an early proponent of reducing greenhouse gases and reducing fossil fuel usage.
    • As governor, has challenged Trump administration policies, including the travel ban, through lawsuits.
    • Was originally elected to the House in 1992, then lost his seat in the next election before mounting a political comeback.
    • Issued a moratorium on executions in Washington in 2014.
  • Issues: Climate change is the center of his campaign. Also supports the legalization of recreational marijuana use and an increase in the minimum wage.



  1. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator
  • Minnesota senator, elected in 2006
    • Says she was inspired to become politically active after she was forced to return to work one day after giving birth.
    • Was resoundingly reelected in 2018, winning numerous rural districts that had supported President Trump in 2016.
    • Had viral moment during questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. At one point, when she asked if Kavanaugh had ever blacked out from drinking, he retorted: “Have you?” Kavanaugh later apologized for the outburst after Klobuchar noted her father struggled with alcohol addiction.
  • Issues: Considered a relative moderate in the field. Has criticized progressive proposals such as “Medicare for All” and the “Green New Deal.” Says she favors affordable health care, election security and cutting prescription drug prices.


  1. Seth Moulton, Massachusetts representative
    • Massachusetts representative, elected in 2014
    • Decorated Marine Corp Veteran, Bronze Star in Iraq
    • Patriotism, Security, and Service. To build a strong and safe country, create the jobs of the future, and elect leaders we can be proud of.
    • Issues: Gun control, climate change and national security as a trio of issues he wants to address. Progressive on many issues, coming out for the Green New Deal and abolishing the Electoral College and Senate filibuster before some other candidates. But he’s temperamentally considered more moderate.



  1. Wayne Messam, Miramar, Florida, mayor
  • Miramar, Florida, mayor, elected in 2014
    • Unseated 16-year incumbent and became first African-American mayor of Miramar.
    • Was a starting wide receiver on 1993 NCAA championship Florida State University team.
    • Says he would eliminate gun violence nationwide by the end of his administration,
  • Issues: Has passed living wage legislation in Miramar; proposes forgiving all student loan debt and repealing Trump tax cut.



  1. Beto O’Rourke, former Texas representative
  • Former Texas representative
    • Attempted longshot campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 and failed, but managed to attract impressive crowds and donations and performed better than any Democrat running for statewide office Texas in decades.
    • Backed Tim Ryan’s bid to unseat Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader.
    • Advocates universal background checks, magazine size restrictions and other gun control measures.
  • Issues: Central issue for the El Paso Democrat is immigration. Supports a path to citizenship for DREAMers and opposes building of border wall.


  1. Tim Ryan, Ohio representative
  • Ohio representative elected in 2002
    • Launched an unsuccessful bid to replace Nancy Pelosi, then House minority leader, in 2016;
    • Has broken with his party to support GOP-supported fracking measures;
    • Began his career in politics as an aide to Rep. Jim Traficant, whom he replaced when Traficant was convicted of corruption charges;
  • Issues: Wants to revamp the health care industry; would try to revitalize economies of Rust Belt communities, change tax code, bring electric auto manufacturing to Midwest.



  1. Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator
  • Independent Vermont senator and former congressman and mayor of Burlington
    • Identifies as a democratic socialist.
    • Unsuccessfully ran for office numerous on a socialist third-party platform numerous times in the 1970s before being elected mayor of Burlington.
    • Ran for Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton and won several major contests.
    • Is one of two independents in the U.S. Senate.
    • Opposed the U.S. war in Iraq, and remains a critic of American military interventionism.
  • Issues: Defining issue is economic inequality. Introduced “Medicare for All” bill in 2017 and 2019.



  1. Eric Swalwell, California representative
  • California representative elected in 2012
    • Does not plan to run for Congress while running for president, although he’s suggested he may change his mind if his campaign falters early on.
    • Has been one of Mr. Trump’s most outspoken critics.
    • A frequent guest on cable news shows.
  • Issues: Gun safety is his top agenda item.



  1. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator
  • Senator from Massachusetts, elected in 2012
    • Was a law professor at several colleges, including the University of Texas, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard.
    • Was the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.
    • Won her Senate seat in 2012 after Republicans blocked her bid to take control of the CFPB.
    • Considered one of the foremost progressives in Congress.
    • Was a registered Republican until the mid-1990s.
  • Issues: Favors more financial regulation and an expansion of government services. Has embraced “Medicare for All,” new taxes on the wealthy, and the “idea” of the “Green New Deal.” Has what is widely considered the most detailed and specific policy platform.



  1. Marianne Williamson, author based in California
  • Author of self-help books and promoter of “New Age” spirituality
    • Seven of her twelve books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.
    • An activist, founded the nonprofit group Project Angel Food, which brings food to the seriously ill, and worked closely with HIV and AIDS patients in the 1980s and 1990s.
    • Has also advocated on behalf of various anti-war causes.
  • Issues: Williamson believes the federal government should spend hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 20 years on reparations for African Americans. She is also a critic of the U.S. economic system, explaining that her views are similar to Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.



  1. Andrew Yang, entrepreneur based in Manhattan
  • Entrepreneur
    • Founded “Venture for America,” a nonprofit that teaches young people to work at start-ups.
    • Launched his campaign in November 2017.
    • Is the fourth Asian American to run for president.
  • Issues: Supports the implementation of a Universal Basic Income, which he calls the Freedom Dividend, which would give money to all Americans. Also favors Medicare for All and the hiring of a White House psychologist to work on mental health issues.