Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY Published 6: 48 am ET Oct. 25, 2019 |Updated 8: 00 am ET Oct. 25, 2019
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Rep.Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, announced in a video and email to supporters on Friday she would not seek re-election to her congressional seat and would continue running for president.
In her statement announcing her decision, Gabbard said because the United States faces unique challenges like partisan splits and increased risks of war, she thought she would best be able to serve the people of Hawaii and the United States as president, rather than in Congress .
“Our country is so divided, and we live in an increasingly dangerous world. We are ever closer to being sucked into another even more disastrous war in the Middle East (Iran), “she said in her statement. “Tensions are increasing with other nuclear-armed countries like Russia and China, leading us to a new Cold War and nuclear arms race, pushing us closer to the threat of nuclear annihilation.
“As such, I will not be seeking re-election to Congress in 2020, and humbly ask you for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States, “she said.
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Gabbard, whose campaign has highlighted her non-interventionist foreign policy platform, has struggled to break out on the national stage and had attracted a primary challenger in her district, which spans multiple Hawaiian islands.
Gabbard has not yet qualified for the N ovember Democratic presidentialdebate, which is set to take place on Nov. 20 in Georgia. She currentlypollsat about 1.3% in the RealClearPolitics average of national presidential primary polls.
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Hawaii State Sen. Kai Kahele, a Democrat who hasraisedabout half a million dollars so far in an effort to unseat Gabbard, wished her well in a statement posted on Twitter.
“I wholly respect and appreciate Congresswoman Gabbard’s decision not to pursue re-election for her Congressional seat as she pursues the Presidency , “he wrote. “I wish her and her family the best going forward.”
I wholly respect and appreciate Congresswoman Gabbard’s decision not to pursue re-election for her Congressional seat as she pursues the Presidency. I wish her and her family the best going forward.
I remain fully committed to my campaign to becomes Hawaii’s next Congressman.
– Kai Kahele (@kaikahele) (October) , 2019
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