Democrat Tulsi Gabbard announced on Friday that she would run for president in 2020, entering what is expected to be a crowded field of liberal contenders.
Gabbard won the 2012 race with the support of veterans' groups and by Emily's List, which supports female candidates who support abortion rights, and arrived in Congress as a star - a female Iraq War veteran and the first Hindu woman to serve in the body.
However, while Gabbard's opposition to US support for the Saudi-led coalition's assault on Yemen-which has produced the world's worst humanitarian crisis-has often been welcomed by critics of American militarism, some progressives and journalists on Friday were quick to point to other elements of her foreign policy that have provoked intense debates and critical media coverage.
Her willingness to challenge American interventions in countries like Iraq and Libya has cultivated her anti-war image. Bernie Sanders at a time when most party officials were backing Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic Party Of Hawai'i Chair Keali'i Lopez has already issued a statement supporting Rep. Gabbard's presidential announcement.
"As Democrats, we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists", Gabbard was quoted as saying.
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Gabbard sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where she is able to influence USA foreign policy.
"I'm thinking through how I can best be of service and I'll make my decision based on that", she said.
The New York Democrat is expected to make her debut in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa next weekend.
President Trump has announced to seek his re-election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who comes from the party's centrist wing, is also likely to join the fray. The victor of the Democratic primary would be pitted against him.
"There are a lot of challenges that are facing the American people that I'm concerned about and that I want to help solve", she said.
In 2015, Gabbard addressed the Christians United for Israel summit, and that same year said that while the U.S. remained a strong ally of Israel, the two countries diverge on how best to prevent a nuclear Iran, lamenting after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress that the issue was being used as a "political football". "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".
Gabbard backs domestic policy items such as Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, and she garnered praise and notoriety for resigning from her post as vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to endorse Sen.
The 2020 presidential primary cycle is scheduled to kick off from the Iowa Caucuses on February 3, 2020, followed by the New Hampshire Primary on February 11, Nevada caucus of February 15 and SC on February 22.