First Hindu in US Congress, Tulsi Gabbard 2020 presidential run

Democrat member of the US Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, has announced that she is running for president in 2020.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” she said in an interview with CNN that is scheduled to air on Saturday.

“There are a lot of reasons for me to make this decision,” Gabbard told the broadcaster. “There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I’m concerned about and that I want to help solve.”

Gabbard is a 37-year-old Iraq war veteran and the first Hindu and first Samoan-American elected to the US Congress. She said “the issue of war and peace” would be the main focus of her campaign.

Her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gabbard is joining what is expected to be a crowded Democratic field. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has already formed an exploratory committee and is moving quickly with trips across early primary states.

California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are weighing their own presidential bids and are expected to announce decisions in the upcoming weeks.

Former Obama administration housing chief Julian Castro will announce his candidacy on Saturday.

Gabbard said although her “main issue” will be “war and peace”, she will push for combating climate change, reforming the criminal justice system, and providing healthcare for all Americans.

Gabbard is popular with some liberals in the Democratic party but will have serious competition in what is expected to be a crowded primary field before the November 2020 election.

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.

Clinton ultimately won the Democratic nomination but lost to Trump.

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