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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

59 mins ago - World

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

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