Jeremiah Pent was born in Arlington, Texas, and raised in Fort Worth. After graduating from high school and marriage, he and his family moved several times around the country, and currently reside in Pennsylvania. He briefly studied at Texas Christian University, but would eventually earn his Masters Degree (in Divinity) from the Westminster Theological Seminary. Professionally, he is an entrepreneur, having founded and run several businesses in a number of industries including agriculture and toy manufacturing.
Pent speaks in broad terms of the need to address the social and economic issues facing the US. He believes the biggest problem currently plaguing the nation is its own lack of unity, and that all other challenges can more easily be overcome if the divisions between religious and ethnic groups can be ameliorated. Other than admitting that this will be a difficult (but achievable) task, however, he offers few specifics on how it might be accomplished. Economically, he favors a balanced budget, advocating the maintenance of a federal government that operates within its means just as, he says, average American families must do. He believes this goal can be reached through middle class tax cuts and a careful restructuring and streamlining of the government's operations.
Pent is particularly preoccupied with the American educational system and its importance to the nation's children, and speaks at length of ensuring that schools are staffed by competent teachers able to properly guide and instruct their students. Once again, however, he is sparse on describing any specific changes which he feels should be made to or by the schools.
An independent candidate, Pent worries over the stark dichotomy between Republicans and Democrats, and claims that these two parties collectively represent only about a third of the American population. He points out the fact that George Washington, the nation's first President, was himself an independent, and that many Presidents immediately following him also did not formally belong to any political party. Concerned about the influence wielded over politicians by wealthy donors, Pent has pledged to accept campaign contributions only from individuals, not rich supporters who act through Political Action Committees and super PACs.
Due to Pent's reluctance to discuss his specific policy ideas, it is difficult to evaluate which voting demographics would be most likely to support and oppose him.
It would be a mistake to think that Jill Ellen Stein, the Green Party’s nominee for president, is a lightweight candidate for the 2016 presidential election. An August 2016 McClatchy/Marist national poll showed the Illinois native polling at 16% among Americans under the age of 30 – almost twice as many as Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump (9%). She also tied with Mr. Trump among undecided with 8%. Dr. Stein has clearly carved a following in the millennial voting demographic, which at 75.4 million, has surpassed the baby boomers as the largest living generation in the country.
The Harvard Medical School graduate, who also earned a B.A degree from Harvard College in 1973, spent about 25 years as a physician and researcher before transitioning into politics and social activism. Her first notable exposure to politics came in 1998 when she participated in the campaign to pass the Clean Elections Law in Massachusetts, a bill designed to reduce the influence of big-money lobbyists and special interest groups by limiting public money from being used to co-finance the political campaigns of candidates who refused to agree to a $100 contribution cap. However, five years later, the bill was repealed by the Democratic-controlled state legislature, a decision which prompted Dr. Stein to break her ties with the Democratic Party.
Her maiden run for public office came during the 2002 Massachusetts’ gubernatorial election, where under the banner of the Green-Rainbow Party, she finished third behind Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Shannon O’Brien.
From the start, Dr. Stein’s core political philosophy has always been centered on the environment, renewable energy and campaign finance reform – issues that feature heavily in the Green New Deal, her pitch to the American people for the general election. The Green New Deal outlines her commitment to create “20 million living wage jobs that provide 100% clean renewable energy by 2030” while “reviving the economy, halting climate change, and making wars for oil obsolete.” Under Dr. Stein’s leadership, the Green Party will make a strong play in down-ballot races, with reportedly several hundred candidates contesting in Senate, House and state seats across the nation.
The high unfavorable ratings for both Mr. Trump and Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton has given her campaign a massive boost, and the Green Party is expected to appear on the ballots of up to 48 states and Washington D. C in this cycle, breaking the record of 2000 when Ralph Nader attained ballot access in 43 states.
Ms. Stein, the co-founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, is an avid musician and can play several musical instruments. She was also the lead vocalist for the folk-rock band, Somebody's Sister, which released four albums during the 90s (she sounds good, folks).