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Originally published in Compass, November 1, 2012
Voter Primer Presidential Candidates 2012

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U.S. President, Barack Obama, Democrat, Illinois

Political: President, 2009 - present; U.S. Senator, 2005 - 2008, Illinois State Senator, 1997-2005 (elected 1996, 1998, 2002). Candidate for Congress, 2000. Keynote speaker, 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Professional: Attorney. Author. Senior lecturer, University of Chicago Law School, 1993-2004. Executive Director, Illinois Project Vote, 1992. Director, Developing Communities Project, 1985-88. Financial analyst, 1983-84.

Education: BA (political science), Columbia University, 1983. JD magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1991.

Personal: Born August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Married, two children.

Running mate: Joseph Biden, Delaware

Courtesy of

Willard Mitt Romney, Republican, Massachusetts

Political: Candidate for U.S. President, 2008; Governor of Massachusetts, 2002-06; Candidate for U.S. Senate, 1994.

Professional: President and CEO for Salt Lake Winter Olympics Organizing Committee from 1999-2002; CEO and Chair of Bain and Company, Inc. from 1978-1991; Vice President of Bain and Company, Inc. from 1978-1984; founded Bain Capital.

Education: JD, Harvard Law School, 1975. MBA, Harvard Business School, 1975. BA, Brigham Young University, 1971.

Personal: Born March 3, 1947 in Detroit Michigan. Married, five children.

Running mate: Paul Ryan, Wisconsin

Courtesy of

Gary Johnson, Libertarian, New Mexico

Political: Governor, State of New Mexico, Republican Party, 1994-2002, Candidate, United States President, 2000.

Professional: Co-Founder/owner Big J Enterprises, 1976-1999.

Education: BA, University of New Mexico, 1975.

Personal: Born January 1, 1953 in Minot, North Dakota. Divorced, two children.

Running mate: Jim Gray, Wisconsin

Courtesy of

Jill Stein, Green Independent, Massachusetts

Political: Candidate, Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2002, 2010; elected member, Lexington Town Meeting, precinct 2, 2005-2009; candidate, secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2006; candidate, Massachusetts House of Representative, Middlesex, District 9, 2004,

Professional: Co-founder Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities 2003-2010; practicing medical doctor, health advocate and teacher.

Educational: MD, Harvard Medical School, 1979, BA, Psychology/Sociology/Anthropolog, Harvard University, 1973.

Personal: Born May 14, 1950 in Chicago. Married, two children.

Running mate Cheri Honkala, Minnesota

Editors note: Due to errors in the biographical information listed for Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney in last week’s Election Primer, Penobscot Bay Press has corrected the Romney information and has decided to again run the complete slate of presidential candidates that will appear on the Maine ballot on November 6. We apologize for the confusion and for the errors.