Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) revealed on Thursday that she has decided not to seek reelection to her congressional seat in order to focus on her presidential campaign.
“Today I’m officially announcing that I will not be seeking reelection to Congress in 2020. Throughout my life, I’ve always made my decisions based on where I felt I could do the most good,” Gabbard said in a series of tweets. “In light of the challenges we face, I believe I can best serve the people of Hawai’i [and] our country as President and Commander-in-Chief.”
Gabbard was first elected to serve as the representative to Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012 after winning more than 80% of the vote. She was the first Samoan-American and first Hindu member of Congress, and has since held the seat for three more terms.
Today I’m officially announcing that I will not be seeking reelection to Congress in 2020. Throughout my life, I’ve always made my decisions based on where I felt I could do the most good. In light of the challenges we face, I believe I can … pic.twitter.com/F0StYoA66n
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) October 25, 2019
Gabbard currently sits on the prestigious and powerful House Committee on Financial Services, Committee on Foreign affairs, and Committee on Financial Services.
“As president, I will immediately begin work to end the new cold war [and] nuclear arms race, end our interventionist foreign policy of trying being the world’s police, toppling dictators and governments we don’t like, but instead redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people here at home,” Gabbard continued. “I humbly ask for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States.”
Gabbard is one of 17 major candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency, and while she has been lagging behind many other candidates in the crowded primary field, her campaign has received renewed attention after a heated exchange with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton seemed to suggest last week that Gabbard is a “Russian asset” who is being “groom[ed]” to run as a third-party candidate. The remarks provoked a fierce rebuke from the Hawaii congresswoman who went after Clinton as the “queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”
Gabbard subsequently challenged the twice-failed presidential candidate to jump into the 2020 race for a third time. Clinton famously lost the 2016 presidential election against President Donald Trump in a stunning upset. Even following her failed bid, she has been an outspoken critic of the president and his administration, and has repeatedly and publicly mulled over running for the Democratic nomination in the upcoming election cycle.
“Join me in ushering in a new Democratic Party that is of, by, and for the people,” Gabbard continued on Thursday. “Together, let’s bring integrity and the spirit of putting service before self to the White House, so that our White House can truly be a beacon of light, hope and opportunity for all Americans.”
While the presidential hopeful has met the donor threshold to qualify for the fifth Democratic National Committee (DNC) primary debate, she is still three national polls short of hitting the polling benchmark. However, candidates still have until November 13 to qualify.
As of publication, Gabbard sits at 1.3% support among Democratic primary voters, according to the RealClearPolitics national polling average.