Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard will not seek re-election to the US House of Representatives, the Democratic candidate for President announced on Thursday evening.
Gabbard, who informed the public of her decision by way of a video and a statement sent via email, said that she will focus her efforts on her presidential campaign.
The Congresswoman represents Hawai‘i’s 2nd District, which encompasses all neighbor islands and portions of O‘ahu.
Her decision not to seek re-election leaves Big Island State Sen. Kai Kahele currently running unopposed in both the Democratic primary for the House seat and the general election, as no Republican has declared for the race.
Kahele, who represents Hilo’s 1st District, was not immediately available for comment on the developments Thursday night.
Along with her video message, Gabbard released the following statement:
“I’m so grateful to the people of Hawaiʻi for allowing me to serve you in Congress for the last seven years. Throughout my life, I’ve been motivated by a desire to serve the people of Hawaiʻi and our country, and have made my decisions based upon where I felt I could do the most good.
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). 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. In light of these challenges, I believe I can best serve the people of Hawaiʻi and our country as President and Commander-in-Chief.
Bringing the experience I have both as a soldier serving over 16 years in the Army National Guard, deploying twice to the Middle East, serving in Congress for nearly seven years on the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Homeland Security Committees, I am prepared to walk into the Oval Office ready to take command on day one.
As President, I will immediately begin work to end the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, end our interventionist foreign policy of being the world’s police, toppling dictators and governments we don’t like, and redirect our precious resources towards serving the needs of the people here at home.
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.”