Tulsi Gabbard won't seek reelection to focus on White House run

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced on Friday that she will not seek re-election to Congress in 2020 so that she can focus on her bid for the White House.

“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,” Gabbard said in a video published early Friday morning.

The decision to not seek a fifth term representing Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district makes way for a competitive race for her seat, reported Hawaii News Now. The local outlet points out that Gabbard’s absence from Congress “likely has repercussions for other local races.”


Gabbard, a consistently third-tier polling candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, announced her campaign for president in January.

The Army National Guard major has managed to make headlines throughout the primary campaign season, more recently for clashing with former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Gabbard went after Clinton for comments the former secretary of state made last week alluding to the possibility that she is a Russian asset.

"If they can falsely portray me as a traitor, then they can do it to anyone -- and in fact, that's exactly the message they want to get across to you," Gabbard in a video posted Sunday.

"If you stand up to Hillary and the party power brokers -- if you stand up to the rich and powerful elite and the war machine, they will destroy you and discredit your message. But, here is the truth: They will not intimidate us. They will not silence us."

Fox News' Melissa Leon contributed to this report.