US Democrat Tulsi Gabbard announces 2020 presidential run

Tulsi Gabbard

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has settled speculation about her political ambitions with her announcement that she'll run for president in the 2020 election.

Last year, Gabbard came under fire for an impromptu meeting with Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad during what she described as a fact-finding trip to discuss possible solutions to end the war in Syria.

Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran, told CNN on Friday, "I have chose to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week".

Despite - or because of - her military background, she has opposed United States involvement in Syria and faced criticism for visiting that country and meeting President Bashar al-Assad.

Leading up to the 2016 Democratic primaries, Gabbard served under Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz as vice-chairwoman but resigned to fully support Bernie Sanders' campaign. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., becoming a sought-after surrogate in the primaries.

"There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision", Gabbard told CNN. She sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where she has staked out a position as one of the most vocal non-interventionists in Congress. California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced on New Year's Eve that she was forming an exploratory committee for a potential run, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro did the same earlier this week. After coming back home, she worked as a legislative aide to Sen.

Gabbard, a co-Chair of the powerful House India Caucus, was recently re-elected for the US House of Representatives from Hawaii for the fourth consecutive term. Gabbard supported legislation that made it more hard for Syrian refugees to enter the U.S.

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The Democratic Party Of Hawai'i Chair Keali'i Lopez has already issued a statement supporting Rep. Gabbard's presidential announcement.

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.

Gabbard was deployed to Iraq in 2005, and she maintains her role as a member of the Hawaii National Guard.

"I'm thinking through how I can best be of service and I'll make my decision based on that", she said.

Gabbard's aide Rania Batrice will manage her presidential campaign.

Gabbard was born in American Samoa to a Catholic father, Hawaii State Senator Mike Gabbard, and her mother, Carol Porter Gabbard, is of Caucasian descent who professes Hinduism.

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