Republican Primary Candidates

The campaign for the Republican nomination got off to a rather slow start.  By October 2011 the field was complete after potential candidates Giuliani, Christie and Palin announced they would not run.  Here are short biographical summaries of candidates who sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. 
see also: The Field Takes Shape   [graphic]

updated Sept. 6, 2012                        

Former Gov. Mitt Romney - (announced candidacy on June 2, 2011; announced exploratory committee on April 11, 2011) Honorary chairman of Free and Strong America PAC.  Candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, obtaining more than 4.6 million votes.  Elected Governor of Massachusetts in Nov. 2002 and served one term through Jan. 2007; did not seek re-election.  President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, 1999-2002.  Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, 1994.  CEO of Bain Capital, Inc., which he founded in 1984.  Joined Bain & Company, Inc., a Boston-based management consulting firm, in 1977 and served as a vice president, 1978-84.  Management consultant at Boston Consulting Group.  M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and J.D. from Harvard Law School, both in 1975.  B.A. from Brigham Young University, 1971.  Born March 12, 1947 in Detroit, MI.
Official: Romney for President, Inc.Independent Sites: Mitt Romney Central | Evangelicals for MittMore: C-SPAN.

Former Candidates (reverse alpha):

Former Sen. Rick Santorum - (announced suspension of campaign on April 10, 2012; announced candidacy on June 6, 2011; formed exploratory committee May 3, 2011; announced testing the waters committee on April 13, 2011) Senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center where he directs the Program to Protect America's Freedom which he established in 2007; chairman of America's Foundation, a PAC.  Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994 and re-elected in 2000, served as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference; defeated in 2006 bid for re-election.  Elected to Congress in 1990 and re-elected in 1992.  Practiced law at Kirkpatrick and Lockhart in Pittsburgh.  Administrative assistant to Penn. State Sen. J. Doyle Corman, 1981-86, also directed the local government committee, 1981-84 and the transportation committee, 1984-86.  J.D. from Dickinson School of Law, 1986; M.B.A. from University of Pittsburgh, 1981; B.A. in political science from Pennsylvania State University, 1980.  Born May 10, 1958 in Winchester, VA.
Official: Rick Santorum for President | America's Foundation | Ethics and Public Policy Center | HWAMore: C-SPAN.

Former Gov. Buddy Roemer - (announced independent Americans Elect bid on Feb. 23, 2012 (+); announced candidacy on July 21, 2011; announced exploratory committee on March 3, 2011) President and CEO of Business First Bank in Baton Rouge, founded in 2005.  Waged an unsuccessful campaign for Governor in 1995.  Elected Governor of Louisiana in 1987 as a Democrat; sworn in March 14, 1988, switched to Republican Party on March 11, 1991; defeated in 1991 re-election campaign finishing third in the primary behind Edwin Edwards and David Duke.  Elected to Congress in 1980 representing NW Louisiana as a Democrat and re-elected in '82, '84 and '86; served through March 14, 1988.  Unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 1978.  M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, 1967; B.S. from Harvard University, 1964.  Born October 4, 1943 in Shreveport, LA.
Official: Buddy Roemer for President, Inc. | Business First BankMore: Interview

Gov. Rick Perry - (announced suspension of campaign and endorsed Gingrich on Jan. 19, 2012; announced candidacy on Aug. 13, 2011) Became Governor of Texas in Dec. 2000, after Gov. George W. Bush resigned, and elected to full terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010.  Elected Lt. Governor in Nov. 1998.  Elected Agriculture Commisssioner in 1990, narrowly defeating the incumbent Jim Hightower, and re-elected in 1994.  Changed to Republican Party in 1989.  Elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1984 and served three two-year terms.  Served in the U.S. Air Force, 1972-75.  Degree in animal science from Texas A&M University, 1972.  Born on March 4, 1950 in Paint Creek, TX.
Official:, Inc. | Office of the Governor | Texans for Rick Perry (2010 re-elect). Independent Sites: Americans for Rick Perry | Draft Perry 2012.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty - (withdrew from the race on Aug. 14, 2011; announced candidacy on May 23, 2011; announced exploratory committee on March 21, 2011) Elected Governor of Minnesota in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, serving to Jan. 3, 2011; vice chair of the Republican Governors Association from July 2009 through 2010; chair of the National Governors Association, 2007-08; formed Freedom First PAC in Oct. 2009.  Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, 1992-2002, including House Majority Leader, 1999-2002.  Vice president of corporate development, Wizmo Inc., 2000-01.  Attorney and eventually partner at Rider, Bennett, Egan and Arundel, 1986-2000.  Member of the Eagan City Council.  Member of the Eagan Planning Commission, 1988-89.  Worked on Sen. David Durenberger's 1982 and 1988 campaigns.  J.D. from the University of Minnesota, 1986; B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota, 1983.  Born November 27, 1960 in St. Paul, MN.
Official: Pawlenty for PresidentMore: C-SPAN.

Rep. Ron Paul - (announced candidacy on May 13, 2011; announced exploratory committee on April 26, 2011; formed "testing the waters" organization earlier in April 2011) Elected to Congress in 1996 and re-elected in the succeeding terms; represents TX-14.  Candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, obtaining more than 1.2 million votes.  Libertarian party presidential nominee in 1988, finishing third with more than 400,000 votes.  Medical practice.  Did not seek re-election to the House in 1984; unsuccessful candidate for Republican nomination for Senate.  Elected to Congress in 1978.  Elected to Congress in a special election in April 1976; defeated in Nov. 1976 re-election bid.  Unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 1974.  Medical practice in Brazoria County, TX; specialist in obstetrics/gynecology.  Obstetrics and gynecology training, University of Pittsburgh.  Flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force.  Internship and one year of an Internal Medicine Residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI.  M.D. from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., 1961.  B.A. from Gettysburg College, 1957.  Born August 20, 1935 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Official: Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee | Liberty PAC | Campaign for Liberty | Committee to Re-elect Ron Paul 2010 | House Office  Independent Site: More: C-SPAN.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter - (withdrew from the race on Sept. 22, 2011; announced candidacy on July 2, 2011)  Elected to Congress representing Michigan's 11th CD (Western Oakland and Western Wayne Cos.) in 2002 and subsequently.  Elected to the Michigan state Senate in 1998 and served to 2002.  Elected to the Wayne County Commission in 1992 and served to 1998.  Attorney in private practice.  J.D. from the University of Detroit, 1990; B.A. from the University of Detroit, 1987.  Born August 22, 1965 in Livonia, MI.  Author of WE THE PEOPLE: Champions of Freedom.
Official:  McCotter 2012 | House Office | McCotter Congressional CommitteeIndependent Site: Draft Thad McCotter for President.

Fred Karger - (announced end of campaign on June 29, 2012; filed to establish presidential campaign committee on March 23, 2011; formed presidential exploratory committee July 18, 2010)  Founder of Californians Against Hate, which put a spotlight on the Mormon Church's support for Proposition 8 on the Nov. 2008 ballot.  Consultant at the Dolphin Group starting in 1977 through 2004, where he managed and worked on numerous campaigns.  Moved to California and did some acting.  Youth co-chair on the Sen. Charles Percy re-election campaign, 1972.  B.A. in speech communication from the University of Denver, 1972.  Born January 31, 1950 in the Chicago area.
Fred Karger for PresidentMore: Interview.

Former Gov. Gary Johnson - (announced seeking the Libertarian Party nomination on Dec. 28, 2011; announced candidacy on April 21, 2011)  Honorary chairman of Our America Initiative, a 501(c)(4).  Elected Governor of New Mexico in 1994 and re-elected in 1998; term-limited in 2002.  Founded Big J Enterprises, a construction business, in 1976 and built it into a multi-million dollar corporation before selling it in 1999.  B.A. in political science from the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, 1975.  Born January 1, 1953 in Minot, ND.
Official: Gary Johnson 2012 | OUR America Initiative.   More: C-SPAN | Interview.

Former Gov. and Amb. Jon Huntsman - suspended campaign and endorsed Romney on Jan. 16, 2012; announced candidacy on June 21, 2011)  U.S. Ambassador to China (announced May 16, 2009; started Aug. 11; resigned effective April 30, 2011).  Elected Governor of Utah in 2004 and re-elected in 2008; resigned Aug. 11 to take up ambassadorship.  Has served as an executive for the Huntsman Corporation, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and CEO of Huntsman Family Holdings Company.  A Deputy US Trade Representative and US Trade Ambassador under President George W. Bush.  Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and U.S. Ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush.  Staff assistant at the White House under President Ronald Reagan.  B.A. in international politics from the University of Pennsylvania, 1987; attended the University of Utah.  Mormon missionary in Taiwan.  Born March 26, 1960 in Palo Alto, CA.
Official: Jon Huntsman for President  |  Facebook pageMore: C-SPAN.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich - (suspended campaign on May 2, 2012; announced candidacy on May 11, 2011; launched testing the waters website on March 3, 2011)  Founder and general chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future, a 527 organization; founder of the Center for Health Transformation, begun in 2003; principal at Gingrich Productions; senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Chairman of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm he founded in 1999.  Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1995.  Elected Speaker of the U.S. House in 1995 and served to Jan. 1999.  In 1994, Gingrich drew up the "Contract with America" that helped Republicans gain a majority in the U.S. House for the first time since 1954.  Elected to Congress in 1978, after unsuccessful campaigns in 1974 and 1976.  Professor of History and Environmental Studies at West Georgia College, 1970-78.  Master's (1968) and doctoral (1971) degrees in Modern European History from Tulane University.  B.A in history from Emory University, 1965.  Born June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, PA.
Official: Newt 2012 | American Solutions for Winning the Future | Center for Health Transformation | Renewing American Leadership | The Americano | Gingrich Productions | American Solutions PAC | WSBIndependent Sites: Team Gingrich | Newt Gingrich for President 2012More: C-SPAN.

Herman Cain - (suspended campaign on Dec. 3, 2011; announced candidacy on May 21, 2011; announced presidential exploratory committee on Jan. 12, 2011)  Radio talk show host (T.H.E. New Voice "The Hermanator Experience") and motivational speaker.  Candidate for U.S. Senate in the 2004 Republican primary in Georgia, finishing second.  President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association for two and a half years starting in 1996.  Senior advisor to the Dole-Kemp presidential campaign.  Named president of Godfather's Pizza in 1986; led buyout of the company from Pillsbury in 1988 and served as president and CEO through to Dec. 1996.  Worked for Burger King Corporation (subsidiary of Pillsbury) from 1982-86, starting in Minneapolis and serving as vice president and general manager for the Philadelphia region.  Joined The Pillsbury Company in 1977 and rose to vice president/corporate systems and services.  Business analyst at The Coca-Cola Company.  Mathematician for the U.S. Department of the Navy for six years.  M.A. in computer science from Purdue University in Lafayette, IN, 1971; B.S. from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, 1967.  Born December 13, 1945 in Memphis, TN.
Official: Friends of Herman CainIndependent Sites: Draft Cain | Citizens4CainMore: C-SPAN.  Old: Mini-Interview

Rep. Michele Bachmann - (suspended campaign on Jan. 4, 2012; officially announced candidacy on June 27, 2011; announced formation of committee on June 13, 2011)  Elected to Congress in 2006 and subsequently, representing MN-6; founded the House Tea Party Caucus.  Elected to the State Senate in 2000.  Attorney for the U.S. Treasury Department, based in Minnesota, 1988-93.   L.L.M., College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 1988; J.D. Coburn School of Law, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK, 1986; B.A., Winona State University, 1978.  Born April 6, 1956 in Waterloo, IA.
Official: Bachmann for President | House Office | Michele PACIndependent Site: Michele Bachmann for President in 2012More: C-SPAN.

Roemer announced on Nov. 30, 2011 that he would seek the Americans Elect nomination while continuing to campaign fro the Republican nomination, then on Feb. 23, 2012 announced an independent Americans Elect bid.

Perry seemed likely not to run throughout 2010 and into May 2011.  He ruled out a 2012 run in an interview that appeared in Newsweek's April 26, 2010 issue and in many other venues, but his name continued to pop up, for example when he came out with his book Fed Up (Little, Brown, Nov. 15, 2010), and when Rush Limbaugh lauded him on his May 18, 2011 radio show.  In a May 27 press conference he did seem to open the door a bit, stating, "I'm thinking about running.  I'm going to think about it, but I think about a lot of things."  Perry had back surgery on July 1, 2011

McCotter's name first surfaced in presidential speculation in the latter part of April 2011.

Bachmann was not really seen as a potential candidate until after the 2010 midterm elections.  

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore announced an exploratory committee on April 18, 2011, but the effort petered out. Moore is president of the Foundation of Moral Law, a 501(c)(3) in Montgomery, AL.  Candidate in the 2010 Republican primary for Governor of Alabama, finishing fourth.  Candidate in the 2006 Republican primary for Governor of Alabama, losing to Gov. Bob Riley by 30 points.  Elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000, and removed in Nov. 2003 over Ten Commandments.  Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama, 1992-2000.  Private law practice in Gadsden.  Deputy District Attorney of Etowah County, 1977-82.  J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, 1977.  Served in the U.S. Army as a company commander in Vietnam.  B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, 1969.
Official: | MoorePAC | Foundation for Moral Law.

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