Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, has thrown her hat in the US Presidential race for 2020, making her the second woman from the Democratic Party to publicly announce a challenge to US President Donald Trump.
"I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week," the four-time lawmaker from Hawaii told CNN on Friday.
Spelling out the reasons behind the decision, Gabbard reportedly said that she was concerned about the challenges facing the American people, listing healthcare access, criminal justice reform and climate change as her main priorities.
"There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace. I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement," the Samoan origin lawmaker who went on to embrace Hinduism said.
A member of US’ House of Representatives, Gabbard serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Her “non-interventionist” position on foreign policy matters is widely known in the US Congress, as per reports in the American media.
Gabbard is also a co-Chair of the powerful House India Caucus, and was recently re-elected for the US House of Representatives from Hawaii for the fourth consecutive term.
Hindus constitute less than one per cent of the American population, an overwhelming majority of whom are either from India or are people of Indian-origin.
If elected, she would be the youngest ever and first woman President of the United States. She would also be the first non-Christian and first Hindu to occupy the top post. However, at this point of time, American political pundits do not give her much chance.
Before Gabbard, Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren had announced on New Year's Eve that she was considering putting up a challenge to President Trump.
More than 12 Democratic leaders including Indian-origin Senator from California Kamala Harris are expected to announce their White House run to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.
Former US vice president Joe Biden has also expressed his interest in the 2020 bid. Rania Batrice, who was a deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and is now a top aide to Gabbard, will be her campaign manager, CNN reported.
The 2020 presidential primary cycle is scheduled to kick off from the Iowa Caucuses on February 3, 2020, followed by the New Hampshire Primary on February 11, Nevada caucus of February 15 and South Carolina on February 22.
(with PTI inputs)
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