Historic number of Catholics to seek U.S. presidency in 2016

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June 13, 2015

Catholics who have expressed an interest in running for the U.S. presidency include, clockwise, former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, former Montana Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Not pictured is Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King and New York Republican Rep. Pete King. (CNS photo/Reuters and EPA)

Catholics who have expressed an interest in running for the U.S. presidency include, clockwise, former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, former Montana Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Not pictured is Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King and New York Republican Rep. Pete King. (CNS photo/Reuters and EPA)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The onetime stigma of being a Catholic for those seeking national office appears to have disappeared in the 2016 presidential election cycle since a record number of candidates have declared their candidacy or expressed an interest in running for the highest office in the country.

Twelve Catholics have said they are interested in running, four of whom have already declared their candidacy. Three others are clearly making moves that indicate they will announce a bid soon.

“It’s going to be a Catholic year for candidates running for the presidency,” said Stephen F. Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington. “So, it’s historic.”

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