US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. (File Photo: AP)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York on Tuesday confirmed that she will be running for president in 2020, joining a pool of hopefuls in the Democratic Party who seek to challenge current President Donald Trump.
U.S. media expects that the current political landscape will encourage many in the Democratic Party to join the race. So far at least five lawmakers or former officials have announced their bid, while others are giving the option a serious consideration or have taken steps to test the water.
The following is a list of figures who will be, or may possibly be, running for president.
-- Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator from New York
Gillibrand, 52, told a talk show Tuesday that she is launching a presidential exploratory committee and that she will be running.
"I'm going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom I am going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I would fight for my own," she said.
The fierce Trump critic, a New York native, was born to a political family. She practiced law before entering the House of Representatives in 2007. She was appointed to the Senate seat in 2009, after her predecessor Hillary Clinton was tapped to lead the State Department.
Gillibrand has shown strong liberal leaning and is expected to center her campaign on women's rights, including anti-sexual misconduct and equal treatment for women.
Her weaknesses include shifting political positions in the past and an uncertainty whether she can connect with heartland voters.
Her role in pushing fellow Democratic senator Al Franken, who was accused of sexual misconduct, to resign, also did not register well with many.
-- Julian Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Castro, 44, is the grandson of a Mexican immigrant who has served as the mayor of San Antonio and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration.
"I'm running for president because it's time for new leadership. Because it's time for new energy," Castro said Saturday as he launched his campaign.
Coming from a immigrant family, Castro is expected to counter current immigration policies and champion rights for minorities.
Castro has been dubbed a "rising star" in his party when in office, but after two years out of the political spotlight, he will need to renew his momentum to have any realistic shot at winning the nomination.
-- Tulsi Gabbard, member of the U.S. House of Representative from Hawaii
Gabbard, 37, announced her bid on Friday during a TV interview. "I have decided to run," she said.
Gabbard was born in American Samoa, an U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean. She was raised in a multicultural and multireligious family. She converted to Hinduism in her teenage years.
At the age of 21, she entered the Hawaii House of Representatives, becoming the youngest woman to be elected to a state legislature. She was elected as a member of U.S. House of Representative in 2012.
Gabbard is a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard and has served two tours in Iraq.
If Gabbard wins her election bid, she would become the youngest person in U.S. history to serve as president, at the age of 39.
Her most notable position was that of opposing U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. she had traveled to Syria to meet its President Bashar al-Assad amid the Syrian conflict, raising eyebrows back home.
-- John Delaney, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland
Delaney, 55, is considered the first to officially begin his campaign, in mid-2017.
Delaney has had a business career before entering politics, serving three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
After launching his presidential bid, Delaney has poured much time and resources into Iowa, the weather vane state in general elections.
But the lack of public exposure has taken a toll on Delaney's support rate, which is on the lower end among all Democratic presidential hopefuls.
-- Richard Ojeda, former member of West Virginia Senate
Ojeda, 48, served in the U.S. Army between 1989 and 2013, when he retired as a Major. He then entered the West Virginia Senate in 2016.
Although Ojeda has voted for Trump in 2016, he has railed against the president during a major strike in his state last year in which teachers called for higher pay.
He announced his presidential bid in November.
In addition to those who have confirmed their presidential bids, a number of political heavy weights, including Joe Biden, former U.S. vice president, Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator of Vermont, Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator of California, Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator of Minnesota, Cory Booker, U.S. Senator of New Jersey, Beto O'Rourke, former U.S. House member of Texas, Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, have all signaled that they are considering running.