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2016 Top Republican Presidential Candidates

Updated on July 15, 2015

Jeb Bush

John Ellis Bush was born on February 11th, 1953 (Age 62). Jeb was raised in Houston,Texas. He earned a degree in Latin American Affairs from the University of Texas before beginning his career in politics. Jeb Bush is the second son of former President George H. W. Bush, and brother of former President, George W. Bush. Jeb served as Florida's Secretary of Commerce in 1986, but resigned after only two years to support his father, George Herbert Walker Bush's, bid for the white house.

He unsuccessfully ran for Florida's Governor in 1994, but later won office in 1999, to begin the first two-term Republican administration in Florida's state history. He served as Florida's 43rd Governor from 1999-2007. Jeb is a strong advocate of capital punishment, executing 23 individuals while serving as Governor. He also reduced taxes, lowered funding to public projects, and vetoed over $2 billion in spending.

Dr. Ben Cason

Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr. was born on September 18th, 1951 (age 63). Ben Carson is from Detroit, Michigan. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School and then began his accomplished career in medicine. He has served as Professor of oncology, pediatrics, and neurosurgery. At just 33, he became the youngest division director in Johns Hopkins history, serving as the director of pediatric neurosurgery.

He was the first surgeon to ever successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head. Dr. Carson is the author of 6 published books. He is very outspoken against the Affordable Care Act, referring to the laws as the worst thing to occur in the United States since slavery. He is an advocate for a government sponsored health savings account that allows people to save money, pre-tax, to cover health care needs.

Chris Christie

Christopher James Christie was born on September 6th, 1962 (age 52). Chris Christie was born in Newark, New Jersey, and attended the University of Delaware and Seton Hall School of Law where he earned his law degree, also he holds honorary doctorate degrees from Rutgers University and Monmouth University.

He served as the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey before running for election to the office of Governor of New Jersey and winning office, he is currently in second term. Chris Christie is a conscientious conservative with positions agreeable to many other Republicans. He is against gay marriage, opposes the legalization of recreational use of marijuana, along with being pro-life.

Ted Cruz

Rafael Edward Cruz was born on December 22nd, 1970 (age 44). Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is the son of former political prisoner of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. He graduated from Princeton in 1992, where he became of very successful member of the debate team being crowned the U.S. National Speaker of the Year and was a member of the National Team of the Year, also he was named First Place Speaker at the North American Debate Championships.

Ted Cruz attended Harvard Law, becoming the founding general editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review, also serving as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated with a law degree in 1995. He was named as one of the “25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century” by the newspaper Texas Lawyer.

He won a Texas Senate seat in 2012, defeating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Cruz was appointed to four Senate Committees, and he is the ranking member on two subcommittees, Science and Space, and Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. Born in Canada, questions have been raised over Cruz's presidential eligibility as a "natural born citizen".

Carly Fiorina

Cara Carleton Fiorina was born on September 6th, 1954 (age 60). She is a native of Austin, Texas and attened Stanford University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and medieval history in 1976. Also Fiorina earned a Masters of Business Administration in marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1980.

She continued her education, earning a Masters of Science in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1989. She went onto serve in executive positions for AT&T, and Lucent. Her most prominent role was held from 1999-2005 as Chief Executive Officer for Hewlett-Packard. She unsuccessfully ran for California's Senate seat in 2010 but was defeated by Democrat Barbara Boxer. Cara opposes abortion, and she is very critical of fears on climate change.

Lindsey Graham

Lindsey Olin Graham was born on July 9th, 1955 (age 60). Graham is a native of Central, South Carolina, and attended the University of South Carolina, graduating in 1977, also earning his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1981. He served in The United States Air Force from 1982 to 1988, also serving as a Guardsman first in the South Carolina Air National Guard then in the Air Force Reserves, achieving the rank of colonel.

He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1992, serving one term. Then he served in the United States House of Representatives with serving four terms. Lindsey Graham won election to the US Senate in 2003, with being re elected in 2008, and 2014.

Mike Huckabee

Michael Dale Huckabee was born on August 24th, 1955 (age 59). Huckabee is a native of Hope, Arkansas. He attended the Ouachita Baptist University earning a bachelor's degree in Religion before attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, but after one year dropped out of the seminary. Mike Huckabee served as Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas from 1993-1996.

He was finally elected Governor of the state, and served two terms, from 1996-2007. He was notable on getting rid of the marriage penalty, cutting the state’s capital gains tax, and pushed a $90 million tax cut package through Arkansas's legislature. He unsuccessfully ran for Presidency in the 2008 election. He is an excellent campaigner, using his Southern charm to connect with voters.

Bobby Jindal

Piyush Subhas Chandra Amrit Jindal was born on June 10th, 1971 (age 44). Bobby Jindal is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He earned degrees in biology and public policy from Brown University in 1991. Jindal was accepted to Harvard Medical School along with Yale Law School but ended up earning a M.Litt. degree in political science with an emphasis in health policy from the University of Oxford in 1994.

Bobby was appointed as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals by former Louisiana Governor, Mike Foster in 1996. He was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation in 2001, but left that position in 2003 to run for Louisiana Governor. Jindal served in the US House of Representatives from 2005-2008 before being elected Louisiana Governor in 2008. He is currently on his 2nd term as Governor.

Donald Trump

Donald John Trump was born on June 14th, 1946 (age 69). Mr.Trump is a native of Queens, New York. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and anthropology. He would then go on to be an extremely successful real estate mongol, but hard times forced Donald Trump to plummet more then once, before rising back up, and creating his empire today.

The reality show “The Apprentice”, has made Mr.Trump a celebrity in the United States. Trump is not one to shy away from controversy, over the past decade, he has played with idea of running for President, but never made any really strides to do so until this past year. He has stated in the past that he is pro-life, and against gun control, and has openly criticized President Obama since day one.

Rick Perry

James Richard Perry was born on March 4th, 1950 (age 65). Rick Perry is a native of Haskell, Texas. Perry earned a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Texas A&M University in 1971. He served in The United States Air Force from 1972-1972, where he was assigned as a C-130 pilot to the 772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base. Rick Perry left the Air Force with the rank of Captain.

Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1984. He then served as the Texas agriculture commission for two terms before taking office as the Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1999. He was elected Governor of Texas in 2000 after George W. Bush won the Presidential election. Perry is longest serving Governor in Texas history, serving a total of three and half terms.

Marco Rubio

Marco Antonio Rubio was born on May 28th, 1971 (age 44). He is a native of Miami, Florida. Rubio earned a football scholarship to Tarkio College before moving to Santa Fe Community College, but eventually graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science, and then the University of Miami School of Law with a J.D. degree.

Marco Rubio served as a City Commissioner for West Miami before he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, becoming the speaker of that chamber. In 2010, Rubio ran for Florida's Senate seat, winning the general election. He supports a flat federal tax rate, opposes the capital gains tax, and has stated that no taxes should ever be raised during a recession. Rubio is very well liked among most Republicans, including the Tea Party segment.

Rick Santorum

Richard John Santorum was born on May 10th, 1958 (age 57). He is a native of Winchester, Virginia. Santorum attended Pennsylvania State University for his undergraduate studies, serving as chairman of the university's College Republicans chapter and graduating with a BA degree in political science in 1980. Santorum received a JD degree with honors from Dickinson School of Law in 1986.

In 1990, Santorum was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, before being elected to the US Senate in 1995. He served in the Senate from 1995-2007. From 2001-2007, Rick was the third ranking Republican in the Senate. Santorum's political agenda mirrors that of most Republicans, with strong stances on national security, social issues, and the economy.

Rand Paul

Randal Howard Paul was born on January 7th, 1963 (age 52). He is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Paul attended Baylor University from 1981-1984 before leaving without earning his Bachelor's degree to attend the Duke University School of Medicine. He earned his M.D. degree in 988 and completed his residency in 1993. He is the son of former Texas Congressman and libertarian icon, Ron Paul. Rand Paul passed the American Board of Ophthalmology boards on his first attempt and earned board-certification under the ABO for 10 years.

Rand Paul traveled with father across 10 states during the 2008 Republican primary season, this was his first taste of politics. He struck a chord with the Tea Party movement, and won a seat representing Kentucky in the US Senate in 2011. Paul was added to the Foreign Relations committee while retaining his spot on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees.

George Pataki

George Elmer Pataki was born on June 24th, 1945 (age 70). He is native of Peekskill, New York. Pataki studied at Yale University on an academic scholarship, graduating in only three years in 1964. He served as chairman of the Conservative Party of the Yale Political Union and received his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1970. George Pataki began his political career in 1981 by being elected Mayor of his hometown, Peekskill, New York.

Pataki was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1984. He won election to the New York State Senate in a 4-way race in 1992. George served as Governor of New York from 1995-2007. He is a solid fiscal conservative, who has signed and sponsored several tax cuts while in office, and also proposed various budgets that look to the privatization of state entities and other budget reductions. George Pataki brings a lot to the table, but at the same time, loosing support from other Republicans.

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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I was really looking forward to a Christy - Clinton race. That would have been fascinating. I think any of the other R- candidates will launch a predictable race with predictable results. Thanks for this cheat sheet of all the players.

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