Hawaii Island's Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, has announced that she will be running for President of the United States in 2020. In 2017 she received criticism for meeting with Bashar al-Assad. "When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so", she said, "because I felt it's important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we've got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace".
Former vice president Joe Biden and progressive Senator Bernie Sanders, whom Gabbard supported over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries, are also mulling entering the race. Bernie Sanders and California Sen. "He asked me bluntly whether I'll run for president, and I told him straight: I've made a decision to run and will make a formal announcement next week".
Big Island Video News will have a deeper analysis, with video, of Rep. Gabbard's political positioning in recent years, which has served to establish her as a maverick among Democrats.
Kamala Harris, 54, who is of Indian and African-Jamaican descent and is identified as a member of the Christian Baptist sect, is expected to announce her candidature for the Democratic Party nomination next week, according to several news reports quoting sources close to her. Elizabeth Warren of MA has already formed an exploratory committee and is moving quickly with trips across early primary states. She could find herself competing against the likes of such heavy hitters as Sen.
Gabbard, a co-Chair of the powerful House India Caucus, was recently re-elected for the US House of Representatives from Hawaii for the fourth consecutive term.
A staunch anti-war voice in Congress, Gabbard has called for the U.S.to halt further involvement in Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen, describing the civil war as a humanitarian crisis. Though not Indian American, Gabbard is often considered one by the community because of her professed religion - a Hindu - and there stories that Hindu temples in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia region chimed their bells to coordinate with her swearing in in 2012.
Asked previous year whether she would still consider running if Senator Sanders ran, Ms Gabbard said Senator Sanders is a friend and she did not know what his plans were.
The presidential run would, in fact, be a crowded Democratic primary field before the presidential election.