The 2020 ballot explained

Overview of national, state candidates


Lauren Thon

An early voting sign is placed outside the St. Louis Park City Hall. Voters are able to cast their ballot here among many other places before election day Nov. 3.

Amalia Fischer and Talia Lissauer


Below is a brief overview of all 21 candidates on the Hennepin Country general ballot.

President and Vice-President

Candidate: Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence

Party: Republican

Additional information: Donald Trump is running for his second term in office. Trump wants to continue to lower taxes, repeal and replace Obamacare, end stifling regulations, protect American borders, keep jobs in America, take care of veterans, strengthen the military and law enforcement and renegotiate trade deals.


Candidate: Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris

Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

Additional information: Former vice president Joe Biden wants to raise the minimum wage, invest in clean energy, expand criminal justice reform, create grant programs for minority communities, rejoin the Paris climate accords, rebuild America’s national reputation, expand Obamacare and reverse Trump’s immigration policies. He also wants to expand free college and create universal pre-school. Concerning COVID-19, he wants to make testing more accessible with more testing centers and create a national trace program. 


Candidate: Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen

Party: Libertarian Party 

Additional information: Jo Jorgensen wants to create jobs, eliminate trade barriers, work to repeal quotas on the number of people that can legally come to the U.S, eliminate the Department of Education, give more choices to families and parents for schooling, lower taxes, reduce U.S. debt, move to renewable energy sources and reform the prison system.


Candidate: Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente and Darcy Richardson

Party: Independence-Alliance

Additional information: Roque De La Fuente’s main policies include creating universal health care, securing borders without deportation and continuing immigration reform, eliminating tax preferences, creating jobs, transforming to a low-carbon economy, protecting natural resources, stopping military intervention in foreign countries and reasonable gun control. 


Candidate: Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker

Party: Green Party

Additional information: Howie Hawkins is an American trade unionist and environmental activist from New York. As one of the co-founders of the green party, Hawkins hopes for Medicaid for All, COVID-19 relief that puts working people first, the Green New Deal, community control of the police, sustainable agriculture and food systems, economic bill of rights, end endless wars, legalize marijuana and end the war on drugs.


Candidate: Kanye West and Michelle Tidball

Party: Independent

Additional information: Kanye West is a 43-year-old male with a background in the music industry and no political experience. As president, Kanye said he wants to restore the First Amendment rights, reduce household and student loan debt, restructure the country’s educational system to serve high risk and vulnerable populations, maintain a strong national defense and reform policing and the legal system.


Candidate: Brock Pierce and Karla Ballard 

Party: Independent

Additional information: Brock Pierce, a 39-year-old entrepreneur and former actor, hopes to legalize cannabis, create a universal earned income for all Americans, ensure affordable and effective healthcare for all Americans, make criminal justice reforms including ending the war on drugs and require alternative emergency response options for non-violent incidents. Additionally, he wants to ensure that adults have the sole right to grant or withhold consent to add things or remove things from their bodies.


Candidate: Gloria La Riva and Leonard Peltier

Party: Socialism and Liberation Party

Additional information: Gloria La Riva supports women’s access to healthcare and reproductive rights, free universal health care, limited international intervention and military/defense spending, raising the minimum wage and more funding for schools. Additionally, La Riva wants to build a sustainable economy and fully fund renewable energy production. La Riva supports the rights of immigrants and believes in granting them full and immediate legalization.


Candidate: Alyson Kennedy and Malcolm Jarrett

Party: Socialist Workers Party

Additional information: Alyson Kennedy wants to be a voice for working people and supports large job programs funded by the federal government. She also supports amnesty for undocumented workers.


U.S. Senator

Candidate: Kevin O’Connor

Party: Legalize Marijuana Now

Additional information: O’Connor supports the medicinal use of cannabis and any other plant that may benefit the health of people without interference from the government. O’Connor also believes, “government that governs least, governs best.”


Candidate: Oliver Steinberg

Party: Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis

Additional information: Oliver Steinberg supports the Green New Deal, single-payer healthcare, abolishing the drug war police state, restoring civil liberties and ending the national security state and perpetual war. 


Candidate: Jason Lewis

Party: Republican

Additional information: Former representative Jason Lewis is against the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and gun control, wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, opposes open borders and sanctuary cities, supports deporting all undocumented immigrants and wants to remove trade barriers.


Candidate: Tina Smith

Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

Additional information: Current senator Tina Smith wants to create a strong and diverse economy and to have affordable high-quality health care. She believes in quality education for all Minnesotans, gun reform and women’s equality and reproductive rights. She wants to protect immigrants, the LGBTQ community, tribal communities and our veterans and protect the environment. Additionally, she wants to transform policing in America.


U.S. Representative

Candidate: Michael Moore

Party: Legal Marijuana Now

Additional information: Moore’s platform position includes social justice reform including smaller specialized police departments and creating a new system of peace officers to handle non-violent and threatening calls. Additionally, Moore wants every Minnesotan to have affordable and effective health care coverage and hopes to restrict the role of men in women’s health issues.


Candidate: Lacy Johnson

Party: Republican

Additional information: Johnson believes in rebuilding an economy that benefits all Americans. He supports more law enforcement officers, more training and more thorough enforcement of the laws and not weakening law enforcement. He supports reforming an education system that allows competitiveness between schools and parents picking what schools their kids will attend. Additionally, he supports health care for all, cleaning our water, sequestering CO2 and reducing emissions without additional regulation at the expense of our economy.


Candidate: Ilhan Omar

Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

Additional information: Current U.S. representative Ilhan Omar wants to abolish ICE, help all undocumented immigrants receive citizenship and turn the U.S. into a leader in refugee resettlement. Omar wants to build an economy that works for all Americans by protecting and expanding the right to unionize and raising the minimum wage. She supports tuition-free colleges and the elimination of student loan debt, as well as increased funding to public schools. Additionally, Omar wants to move towards a 100 percent clean energy economy and end the use of fossil fuels. Omar supports Medicare for All, a single-payer health care system that covers every American. She believes in foreign policy that centers around human rights, justice and peace and makes military action a last resort.


State Senator

Candidate: Bryan P. Björnson

Party: Republican

Additional information: Björnson supports reducing the amount of government control, creating bureaucracies to solve crises and increasing taxes to pay for the bureaucracies.


Candidate: Ron Latz

Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

Additional information: Latz wants to reform the criminal justice system, invest in public education, raise the minimum wage, expand gun violence prevention, reduce our carbon footprint and move to clean energy, improve access to health care and expand access to women’s healthcare.


State Representative

Candidate: Melissa Moore

Party: Republican

Additional information: Moore wants education and curriculum decisions to go back down to the local level. She does not support the building of the light rail. Additionally, Moore is against the idea of sanctuary cities/states and does not support undocumented immigrants.


Candidate: Cheryl Youakim

Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party

Additional information: Cheryl Youakim supports early education and wants to improve coordination between high schools and Minnesota’s colleges and universities. Additionally, she supports investments in roads, bridges and transit opportunities, cost-effective ways to provide the services that people need and have come to expect while maintaining a vibrant community.


County Offices

Candidate: Dan Freeman 


Additional information: Freeman wants to continue transparency in the management of parks and facilities, make parks more accessible to seniors, increase park usage by families and kids and maintain parks and trails without large taxes.