It was widely predicted that Heydrich will secure a third term, and whether Jason secured second place in the election was initially up for debate, with a challenge from the left in the form of Senator Self, and a challenge from the right in the form of either Senator Lincoln or Gary Johnson.
The primaries in the Republican Party were heavily contested. The incumbent President, John Heydrich, had announced during his first term that he was amending the US Constitution to remove term limits, allowing him to stand for a third term in the future. It appeared he was to be nominated without fault as the Republican candidate for a third term, but in fact the primaries had many different candidates. In particular, it appeared Brat, his own Secretary of the Treasury, was attempting to contest and win the nomination from him. At one point, early in the primaries, Brat was leading and also following close behind Heydrich in terms of delegate count. However, almost inevitably, Heydrich seized the nomination and became the Republican candidate.
In the previous election, the Democratic Party had nominated Sandra Murphy-Colbert but her campaign was weak and easily defeated by Heydrich. They were therefore uncertain of who to nominate for this election, but in the beginning four candidates became clear. Sandra had entered the primaries only to endorse Tom Jason, who in turn was opposed by Harry Reinfeld and Stan Pines. Jeff Rolland proceeded to enter the primaries, and then endorsed Harry Reinfeld. However, in the spirit of party unity, Reinfeld went on to endorse Jason, and Rolland endorsed the only opposition left, Stan Pines, before defecting from the party. Later in the primaries, Mark Walker and Jesse Cuthbert both entered, although Cuthbert endorsed Jason, leading to Walker being the only Democrat left in the primaries that did not endorse Jason.
Several third parties also put forward nominees, with Libertarian chair Gary Johnson seizing the Libertarian nomination and Douglas Self seizing the All Syndicalist Convention nomination. Sips also ran for the Communist Party nomination but due to inactivity decided to not contest the presidential election. The other third party candidate was Adrian Tam, of the Radical Centrist Party. Notably, the Democratic People's Union, the third largest party, did not nominate a candidate, nor did other third parties such as the Imperial Japanese Party or the American Conservative Union.