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Bill Weld. Photo: Paul Marotta/Getty Images.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is the first Republican to announce he will challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential race. Weld, a popular former governor who has tended to support more liberal social issues, ran on the 2016 Libertarian ticket with Gary Johnson.

Key facts about Bill Weld:
  • Current position: Partner at Mintz Levin law firm, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, associate member of the InterAction Council
  • Age: 73
  • Born: Smithtown, New York
  • Undergraduate: Harvard University
  • Date candidacy announced: Feb. 15, 2019
  • Previous roles: Governor of Massachusetts (1991-1997), U.S. assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division (1986-1988), U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts (1981-1986)
Bill Weld's stance on key issues:
  • Abortion: Weld supports abortion rights and has fought to protect them. As governor in 1991, he introduced a bill aiming to make it easier to get an abortion in Massachusetts.
  • Same-sex marriage: While governor, Weld recognized domestic partnership rights for same-sex couples and signed legislation protecting gay and lesbian students. He also signed a 2013 amicus brief in support of same-sex marriage.
  • Marijuana: Weld sits on the board of directors of Acreage Holdings, a cannabis company looking to roll back federal regulations, the Washington Post reports. He has supported legalization of medical marijuana since 1992.
  • Economy: Despite his more progressive social views, Weld is a traditional conservative when it comes to the economy, prioritizing cutting spending and cutting taxes.
  • Climate change: Weld supports rejoining the Paris climate agreement, according to Boston.com.
Key criticism of Bill Weld:
  • Party loyalty: Weld endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain for president in 2008, but endorsed Mitt Romney over Obama in 2012. He also defected to the Libertarian Party to run with Gary Johnson in 2016.
  • Popularity with the right: Trump remains extremely popular among conservatives, polling at 87% among Republicans, according to a Fox News poll. A recent FiveThirtyEight piece calls Weld potentially "one of the weakest candidates that anti-Trump Republicans could put up in a national campaign," as his social views set him apart from most mainstream conservatives.
1 fun thing about Bill Weld
  • One of Weld's Harvard classmates told New York Magazine that Weld was famous for playing three games of chess simultaneously while blindfolded.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the other 2020 candidates

Go deeper

31 mins ago - Health

Pfizer testing oral pill for prevention of COVID

Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer announced Monday that it is testing an oral antiviral drug that would help prevent COVID-19.

Why it matters: This drug is one of several antiviral pills that could have a massive impact on coronavirus treatment since not everyone will get a vaccine, and it may take years to fully vaccinate people in certain countries, per Axios' Alison Snyder.

Scoop: Dems' sneaky sabotage

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A group tied to prominent Democratic strategists is posing as a conservative outfit to try to drive a wedge between the Republican candidate for Virginia governor and his core voters, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The state's gubernatorial race is expected to be tight and could be a national bellwether. As Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin's campaign hypes improving poll numbers, Democrats are trying to chip away at his support in GOP strongholds.

House coalescing around infrastructure deal

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is seen leaving a meeting of the House Democratic caucus on Monday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

House Democrats started Monday to coalesce around a deal to pass President Biden's signature Build Back Better infrastructure package, with progressive opposition weakening and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) seeming to de-link the biggest components of it.

What they're saying: “We can’t be ready to say, 'Until the Senate passes the [$3.5 trillion reconciliation] bill, we can’t do BIF,'" the speaker told House Democrats, using shorthand for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework. She indicated the House would vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill — focused on roads and bridges — on Thursday.

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