On Sunday, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 2016 presidential election cycle.

In the next year and several months, people will have the chance to make informed decisions about who they want to see be the next commander in chief.

Reita Grant, member of the Progressive Women of Northeast Alabama, said she’s the biggest fan of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, but since Warren isn’t running, she’ll support Clinton.

“Personally, I’m looking forward to it,” Grant said. “I’m looking forward to having someone with her experience and her ability to reason. I think she’s had a great career. She’s never really disappointed me. I think it would be great to have a woman as president, but only if that woman is qualified, and I think Hillary is qualified.”

She said Clinton being a woman and a democrat is going to be hard on her during her campaign.

“They’ll go for her from all sides because of those two things,” Grant said.

As far as Clinton’s scandals involving Benghazi and the most recent, an email account, Grant said those things shouldn’t be an issue with voters.

“Benghazi was blown out of proportion,” Grant said. “It’s been proven she didn’t do anything wrong. Republicans keep bringing it up. She was blameless. They just like the word, ‘Benghazi.’ The email situation doesn’t bother me. It was a secure email. All the people in office chose whether to use personal email or not. I think Hillary is trustworthy and honest. It’ll all turn out okay.”

Local Democratic chairman Jayson Carroll agreed with Grant saying he thought Clinton would make a good candidate and has been a strong public servant for many years.

Republican Bob French said he doesn’t think Clinton can be elected, but wasn’t surprised she chose to run.

“Like everyone else, I knew she was going to run,” French said. “She is claiming it’s her time to run. The Clintons are the privileged elite of the United States of America…the uncrowned king and queen. They live by different rules than the rest of us.

“I will be very surprised if she makes it all the way through nominations with opposition,” French continued. “She has so much Clintonian baggage, I think it will be hard for her to make it through without serious opposition. If she has serious opposition, I don’t think she’ll get the nomination. If she gets the nomination, I don’t think she can be elected. You can’t erase a hard drive that was illegal in the first place. You can’t sit by while the ambassador in Benghazi is killed, and you can’t be getting all this money from governments that kick women around.”

On the red ticket, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have announced their intentions to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

More candidates are expected to announce bids, such as Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and Democrats Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor; and Jim Webb, former U.S. senator.

Whichever Democratic candidate receives the nomination will have to overcome history, however.

In the last, half-century, the same party has held the White House for three consecutive terms only once, during the administrations of Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

--The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Lindsay Slater is the senior staff writer of the Times-Journal.

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