SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: Gabbard, 37, officially launched her candidacy in Hawaii, where she has served as a congresswoman since 2013. A Samoan-American, she was the first Hindu elected to Congress.
She told the crowd gathered she was running against “powerful, self-serving politicians and greedy corporations,” and vowed to restore “dignity, honour and respect to the presidency.”
“Join me in putting this spirit of service above self at the forefront and stand up against the forces of greed and corruption,” she said.
Gabbard made headlines in 2016 by quitting a leadership post at the Democratic National Committee over the party’s decision to limit the number of debates between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a move analysts said helped Clinton.
She then endorsed Sanders for president, becoming one of the few members of Congress to do so. She remains popular with some progressives but will have serious competition on that front with candidates such as Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren in the presidential field.
Gabbard has consistently opposed U.S. intervention in Syria, going as far as to secretly meet with Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, in January 2017, sparking fierce criticism from some in her own party. She opposes removing Assad from power.