Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, announced on a CNN show set to air Saturday that she will seek the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. She is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of Congress. Both Sludge and The Interceptsaid Gabbard's office did not respond to requests for comment.
"There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve", Ms Gabbard told CNN, listing health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change as key platform issues.
However, while Gabbard's opposition to USA support for the Saudi-led coalition's assault on Yemen-which has produced the world's worst humanitarian crisis-has often been welcomed by critics of American militarism, some progressives and journalists on Friday were quick to point to other elements of her foreign policy that have provoked intense debates and critical media coverage. She will be the first Hindu-American to run for the White House, and should she win the party nomination and eventually emerge victorious in the tortuous race to the White House - a long shot by most accounts - she could become the first non-Christian, and indeed first Hindu President of the United States.
The senator is filling out important campaign staff positions, including recruiting Meredith Kelly, the former spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, to head her communications efforts, according to the person.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of MA on December 31 announced she had formed an exploratory committee for a presidential run in what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary field before the November 2020 presidential election.
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Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, now serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She was one of a handful of Democrats who met with Trump during the presidential transition, amid speculation that she could become United Nations ambassador or secretary of state.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who comes from the party's centrist wing, is also likely to join the fray.
A victor of the primary elections beginning early 2020 would be finally nominated by the Democratic party in its convention later that summer to challenge the Republican candidate in the November 2020 elections. The three-term congresswoman says she's running for "a lot of reasons", but the "main issue that is central to the rest.is the issue of war and peace". The organization is said to have been a major factor in US President Donald Trump's 2017 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy there. "I look forward to talking with you more about this in the coming days".
California senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey senator Cory Booker and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders are all weighing their own presidential bids and are expected to announce decisions in the upcoming weeks.
Gabbard was one of the most prominent lawmakers to back Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
Other Democrats, including billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, have declined to run in 2020.