Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) became the first Democrat to declare her candidacy for president in 2020 by announcing an exploratory committee and releasing her first campaign ad on New Year's Eve 2018.
"Today, corruption is poisoning our democracy," Warren says in the mostly biographical ad. "Politicians look the other way while insurance companies deny patients life-saving coverage, while big banks rip off consumers, while big oil companies destroy this planet."
"This dark path doesnâ€™t have to be our future," she said.
We are being torn apart, with divisions that seem too deep to heal. But when we are united in the spirit of love, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. Join me in building a movement for peace to create a bright future for all. https://t.co/NmMa4BpqOW pic.twitter.com/PGd9FHUxwS— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 24, 2019
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) was the next to announce a campaign, telling CNN's 'Van Jones Show' on January 12 that she had decided to run.
"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve," she said. "There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace. I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth."
Also on January 12, former San Antonio Mayor and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama JuliÃ¡n Castro officially announced his presidential bid in at a rally in San Antonio, Texas, where he highlighted his immigrant background and the "crisis" of Donald Trump.
"I am running for president because itâ€™s time for new leadership, because itâ€™s time for new energy," Castro told the audience. "Itâ€™s time for a new commitment to make sure the opportunities that I had are available to every American."
"There is a crisis today. It's a crisis of leadership," Castro also said. "Donald Trump has failed to uphold the values of our great nation."
Later that week, N.Y. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was the next to announce her candidacy during an interview on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
"As a young mom, I'm going to fight for other peoples' kids as hard as I'm going to fight for my own, which is why I believe healthcare should be a right and not a privilege," Gillibrand said. "And I believe that anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get any job training they need to earn their way to the middle class."
"But you are never going to accomplish any of those things if you don't take on the systems of power that make all of that impossible," she also said. "Which is taking on institutional racism, corruption, and greed in Washington. Taking on the special interests that write legislation in the dead of night."
California Sen. Kamala Harris announced her bid on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 21, in an interview with ABCâ€™s 'Good Morning America'.
"My parents were very active in the civil rights movement, and thatâ€™s the language that I grew up hearing," Harris told ABC about her campaign style. "It was about a belief that we are a country that was founded on noble ideals and we are the best of who we are when we fight to achieve those ideals."
"The thing about Dr. King that always inspires me is he was aspirational," she continued. "He was aspirational like our country is aspirational. We know that we have not yet reached those ideals, but our strength is that we fight to reach those ideals."
I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future. Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 23, 2019
Join the team at https://t.co/Xlqn10brgH. pic.twitter.com/K6aeOeVrO7
Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is the latest Democrat to launch a 2020 exploratory committee for president. He announced his plans in an email to supporters and a video posted on Twitter on January 23.
"The show in Washington right now is exhausting," Buttigieg said in his introductory ad. "The corruption, the fighting, the lying, the crisis. It has got to end."
"We can't look for greatness in the past. Right now our country needs a fresh start," he said.