Tulsi Gabbard, the four-term Democratic representative from Hawaii, has ended months of speculation by formally declaring her candidacy for the 2020 presidential election.
“We are being torn apart, with divisions that seem too deep to heal. But when we are united in the spirit of love, there is no challenge we cannot overcome,” she wrote today in a tweet.
Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran, has earned fans for her “unorthodox” political style while concerning others because of her changing views on issues such as homosexuality. She’s also had a binary relationship with the Democratic party she hopes to lead, alternating between being scorned and lauded for her work.
If elected, Gabbard, now 37 years old, would become the youngest president in U.S. history — President Theodore Roosevelt was 42 years old when he took office in 1901.
Here’s more on Gabbard’s political and financial history:
- Gabbard’s estimated net worth, $208,504, made her the 346th wealthiest House member in 2015, according to the most recent estimates available from the Center for Responsive Politics.
- The Americans United for Separation of Church and State in 2018 reported spending $600 to honor Gabbard, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat, and U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, with an award for those who have shown “a deep level of respect for the nonreligious community.”
- Gabbard married Abraham Williams, described as a freelance cinematographer, in 2015. In 2016, House ethics officials granted her a gift waiver for gifts associated with her engagement and wedding.
- Gabbard is an investor in digital currency. Gabbard’s 2017 personal financial disclosure form shows she bought between $1,001 and $15,000 each of Ethereum and Litecoin in December 2017.
- Tulsi for Hawai’i, Gabbard’s campaign committee, raised $1.4 million during the 2018 election cycle, according to the Federal Election Commission. Contributions from California made up the largest block of contributions of $200 or more, according to the FEC — 18.5 percent of the total.
- Gabbard’s leadership PAC spread $8,700 among seven Democratic candidates during the 2017-2018 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, including $1,000 to Kyrsten Sinema, a Democratic U.S. House member who won a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona.
- Gabbard was subject to bipartisan criticism after meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in the light of the president’s human rights record and role in the ongoing refugee crisis. She later sponsored legislation to combat the use of American-made weapons by terrorist forces in the region.
- Gabbard was an early endorsee of Bernie Sanders, and resigned her seat as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after fighting then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz over the a 2016 presidential debate schedule that, some Sanders backers contended, gave eventual nominee Hillary Clinton an advantage over the other primary candidates.
- Differentiating herself from many Sanders supporters, Gabbard in 2016 met with President Donald Trump because of their similar views on immigration and handling of terrorist threats. She later admonished then-Trump aide Steve Bannon for his analysis of her politics.
Sources: Center for Responsive Politics reporting, lobbying contribution reports via the Clerk of the House, personal financial disclosure filing via the U.S. House of Representatives, Federal Election Commission
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