Oct 25, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard won't seek re-election to Congress in 2020

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) announced early Friday that she will not seek re-election to Congress in 2020 in order to focus on her presidential campaign.

"I'm fully committed to my offer to serve you, the people of Hawaii & America, as your President & Commander-in-Chief. So I will not be seeking reelection to Congress in 2020. I humbly ask for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States."

Why it matters: Gabbard's positions, especially on foreign policy, are often out of line with Democratic orthodoxy. That's helped her to receive a huge amount of buzz online in recent weeks, propelled by conservative voices.

  • She also grabbed headlines after Hillary Clinton said that she was Russia's favorite candidate, speculating that she might mount a third-party bid for the presidency. Gabbard has denied that she is considering a third-party run.

Worth noting: Gabbard had a Democratic primary challenger for her House seat.

  • Kai Kahele, the son of late Hawaii politician Gil Kahele, had pulled in more donations from Hawaiians for his bid than Gabbard had received for her presidential campaign from the state — $345,616 to $221,501, per OpenSecrets.

Go deeper: Tulsi Gabbard on the issues, in under 500 words

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South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, both military veterans, clashed at the 5th Democratic debate Wednesday night after the representative questioned the mayor's military judgement.

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5 takeaways from the fifth Democratic debate

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The fifth Democratic debate on Wednesday ended with more shared laughs than attack lines, striking a stark contrast to the partisan impeachment hearings that have dominated news coverage over the past two weeks.

The big picture: The Pete Buttigieg pile-on landed more softly than many had projected. Instead, the top four candidates in early state polling — Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — pulled many of their punches, giving some of the lower-tier candidates a chance to make waves in a debate that will otherwise do little to shake up the race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 21, 2019