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Santorum, Graham, Pataki Join Crowded 2016 GOP Field

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Three more Republicans are expected to announce their presidential bids for 2016; they will join the six candidates who have already kicked off their campaigns in the hopes of winning the GOP presidential nomination.

Former U.S. Senator and 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania will reportedly enter the race on May 27, making it the former Senator’s second attempt at winning the nomination. Santorum’s first event will be held at the Iowa Machine Shed at 3 p.m., according to the Quad-City Times. During his unsuccessful attempt for the GOP nomination in 2012, Santorum’s campaign unexpectedly gave Mitt Romney’s campaign a great challenge, with Santorum winning the Iowa caucus and 10 other states along the way.

Former three-term Governor George Pataki of New York will begin his campaign on May 28, announcing from Exeter, New Hampshire, CNN reported. Pataki’s name recognition from serving as the Empire State’s Governor from 1995 to 2007 has carried over to the crucial primary state of New Hampshire, where he has made more stops than any other Republican presidential candidate thus far.

“I’m a Republican following in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt who understands that conservatism isn’t just economic policy but it’s also preserving and enhancing the outdoors,” Pataki said to the New York Post earlier this week.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is the third candidate who will announce his campaign this week, likely on June 1. The South Carolina Republican, known for his more hawkish views on foreign policy and friendship with U.S. Senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain of Arizona, has not officially said he will be running for the White House, but has alluded to it in several statements.

“You’re all invited to come – spend money when you do – and I will tell you what I’m going to do about running for President,” Graham said, baiting reporters to attend his speech in South Carolina on the first of June.

“I’m running because I think the world is falling apart," he added. "I’ve been more right than wrong on foreign policy. It’s not the fault of others or their lack of this or that that makes me want to run. It’s my ability in my own mind to be a good commander-in-chief and to make Washington work.".

Santorum, Pataki and Graham will join six other Republican presidential hopefuls – former Arkansas Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and 2010 U.S. Senate candidate of California Carly Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson from Maryland, and Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ted Cruz of Texas.

The first Republican debate will air on Aug. 6 on Fox News and will feature the 10 candidates with the highest average of poll numbers.

Sources: CNN (2), Quad-City Times, ABC News

Photo Credit: The Denver Channel, WikiCommons


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