Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Democrat, says she will run for president in 2020

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard D-Hawaii greets supporters in Honolulu

She's also been critical of her own party, calling out Hillary Clinton's track record of supporting foreign wars during the 2016 presidential primary.

"Congresswoman Gabbard's entrance in this race is an opportunity for Hawai'i to continue its rich history of contributing to the diversity of the Democratic Party and be a part of important conversations in the year ahead", Lopez added.

Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has announced that she is running for president in 2020. "Our residents are feeling the very real impacts of President Trump's policies, and it should be every Democrat's top priority to replace this unsafe administration". Gabbard moved to Hawaii when she was two and embraced Hinduism as a teenager and is well-versed in the scriptures, PTI reported.

Her endorsement came in dramatic fashion, with her resigning as a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to express her support.

"There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace", said Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran and now serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In an article from August of 2018, Chávez detailed Gabbard's refusal to debate her Democratic primary challengers, who said they wished to challenge her foreign policy and hold her to account for "sketchy alliances" with foreign dictators. Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris, who aggressively questioned the nominee, Brian Buescher, about his religious beliefs.

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Born in American Samoa in 1981 to Carol and Mike Gabbard, she is the fourth of five children, all brought up in the Brahma Madhwa Gaudiya Sampradaya that her mother embraced following her introduction to the Krishna movement.

Gabbard positioned herself as one of President Barack Obama's fiercest critics over his handling of the so-called Islamic State. She was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2013.

Gabbard also met with Donald Trump after the election in November 2016 to discuss Syria and terrorism policy.

Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens dismissed Gabbard's chances in a statement on Friday.

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. "I'm seriously thinking of how I can best be of service to our country", she told Concord Monitor News reporter Paul Steinhauser before meeting with Rockingham County Democrats. "Liberals think she's too conservative, conservatives think she's too liberal, and just about everyone thinks her coziness with Bashar al-Assad is disturbing".

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