The Democrat primary field for the 2020 presidential election is shaping up as Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii has announced she will be running for her party’s nomination.
The Iraq War veteran made the announcement during an interview on CNN’s “The Van Jones Show,” when the host asked the congresswoman: “Are you going to run for the presidency of the United States and do something about it?”
Tulsi paused for a moment as the crowd applauded the question, then said that she was going to make a formal announcement to run next week.
“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” Gabbard said in response to host Van Jones.
Here’s more from Gabbard, via CNN:
Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of Congress.
“There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision. There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve,” she said, listing health care access, criminal justice reform and climate change as key platform issues.
“There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace,” Gabbard added. “I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement.”
And, here’s more on Gabbard from Reuters:
Gabbard made headlines in 2016 by quitting a leadership post at the Democratic National Committee over the party’s decision to limit the number of debates between Clinton and Sanders, with analysts believing fewer debates benefited Clinton. Clinton ultimately won the Democratic nomination but lost to Trump.
The congresswoman then endorsed Sanders for president, becoming one of the few members of Congress to do so. Gabbard remains popular with some liberals but will have serious competition with other candidates on the left flank of the party.
Gabbard has also drawn criticism for secretly meeting with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whose removal from power she opposes, during a 2017 trip to the war-ravaged country.
Gabbard’s unofficial announcement comes as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Obama Administration official Julian Castro have announced their launch of exploratory presidential bids for a prospective 2020 run.
Launching an exploratory bid is the usual first-step for prospective candidates and it allows them to legally raise funds for an eventual run.
Other major Democratic figures like former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, and rising star Beto O’Rourke are currently weighing their options for prospective runs. Other potential candidates include California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and some others.
The first presidential primary election will be held in Iowa in 13 months.