Facing strong primary challenge, Tulsi Gabbard will not run for re-election to Congress

Tulsi Gabbard

In a video posted on Twitter, Gabbard says that she will focus on the presidential race.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu American to get elected to US Congress, will not seek reelection from Hawaii’s second congressional district, she announced via Twitter on Friday.

Gabbard, who was first elected in 2012, in a long video message that highlighted her career, explained that she would focus on her presidential bid for 2020 elections.

Many political positions of the Samoan American have become controversial in the Democratic presidential primary. Recently, the 2016 Democratic party nominee Hillary Clinton hinted that Gabbard is being used by Russia.

It evoked an angry response from Gabbard, who termed “Clinton Queen of war mongers.”

Gabbard’s unpopularity among left-leaning voters led to Hawaii state Sen. Kai Kahele declaring a primarily challenge to the three-term congresswoman. Kahele, in fact, outraised Gabbard in their home state, according to the bipartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Kahele has raised $345,616 from Hawaii donors for the primary, which is more than Gabbard has raised from in-state donors ($221,501) through September, the watchdog group reported.

Earlier this year, Gabbard also came in for criticism for her closeness to rightwing Hindu groups. A recent report revealed that US affiliates of the Indian Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party helped finance her election to US congress back in 2012. It was also reported that she received huge amounts from the US affiliates of RSS in campaign contributions and spoke at many RSS-sponsored events.

In the presidential race, Gabbard has remained in the bottom tier. A CNN poll conducted last week had her receiving just 1% support, an indication that.

In her video, the candidate praised the incredible spirit of Aloha and said how the whole of America needs it. Thanking the people of Hawaii for electing her to the Congress, she said that she could best serve the people of Hawaii by being their president.

“As President, I will immediately begin work to end this new Cold War and nuclear arms race, end our interventionist foreign policy of carrying out wasteful regime change wars, and instead redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people right here at home,” she said.

Some of Gabbard’s twitter followers were not amused by decision to exit Congress and focus on the presidential race, where she continues to poll in low single digits. Twitter user @cin_cout commented: “I called in to work and quit my job to focus on getting my Subaru to the moon. I can’t wait until we both accomplish our dreams.”

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