Rep. Gabbard to Run for President in 2020

Rep. Gabbard to Run for President in 2020

"I have chose to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week", Rep. Gabbard, 37, an Iraq War veteran as well as the first Hindu and first Samoan-American elected to the U.S. Congress, told CNN.

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"I have chose to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week", Gabbard told CNN host Van Jones in an interview schduled to air on Saturday.

Since being elected to the House, Gabbard became the vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, but left the post so she could endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 presidential nomination; she gave the nominating speech putting his name forward at the 2016 national convention.

Gabbard, 37, said "the issue of war and peace" would be the main focus of her campaign.

"I'm thinking through how I can best be of service and I'll make my decision based on that", she said. "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 added, pointing to health care, criminal justice reform, and climate change. She also was one of the first female combat veterans elected to Congress ― deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005, and to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009 as a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard.

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The 37-year-old Iraq War veteran is the first Hindu elected to Congress and the first member of Congress born in the United States territory of American Samoa.

More about Gabbard's background: Gabbard was formerly the vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and was a vocal supporter of Sanders' 2016 campaign.

She questioned whether Assad was responsible for a chemical attack on civilians that killed dozens and led the U.S. to attack a Syrian air base. She ended up being a backer of Sen.

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

In response, Gabbard wrote on Twitter that "being Saudi Arabia's bitch is not 'America First'".

Her father Mike Gabbard, a Hawaii State Senator, told the local Hawaii News Now: "I didn't know she had made a final decision". Though not Indian American, Gabbard is often considered one by the community because of her professed religion - a Hindu - and there stories that Hindu temples in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia region chimed their bells to coordinate with her swearing in in 2012.

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