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

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
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