WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -- There are nearly two dozen candidates making their bid for president in 2020.

Among the top contenders are 21 Democrats and two Republicans, including current President Donald Trump.

In an already large pool, a Waterbury man is jumping into the race.

Dennis Diaz is a veteran, who was born in Puerto Rico.

He said he’s running for the nation’s top job because he’s proud of the American Flag and wants to represent all of its 50 states, territories included.

The former combat veteran made the big decision recently.

While there are more than 20 established candidates, there are 720 hopefuls registered with the Federal Election Commission.

The number didn’t deter Diaz, an entrepreneur and dad of six.

It was the most recent government shutdown, which lasted more than a month from late December through January, that prompted his decision.

Diaz said shutting down the government for failed agreements over border security funding wasn’t worth the impact it had on federal workers.

“It's really important that we don't do that type of stuff. We got to be the ones that set the example. That's when I said it's time,” Diaz said.

Running as an independent, the presidential hopeful said he wants to put parties aside.

“Now what we're actually seeing in politics is more about backing your party up and exactly what your party says and does,” he said.

When it comes to policy, he already has some issues in mind.

“I understand what's going on with welfare, healthcare. I see how it affects our American people. Now we can help them,” Diaz said.

Diaz says transparency will earn him voters' trust, a quality clearly on display when asked about his prior political experience, if he has any.

“Absolutely, positively, not. I’m not going to lie to you,” he said.

He believes being an outsider will work in his favor.

“That’s what makes everything a lot different. A lot better. Because instead of you have someone who’s ‘oh I’ve been a career politician. I’m outside of politics, all I work on is the American people,” Diaz said.

Diaz is hopeful voters will get him to the White House next year.

Diaz will kick his campaign into full gear next week.

He says he plans on visiting all 50 states in the next seven months.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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