Tulsi Gabbard joins presidential race

January 12, 2019 GMT

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii announced Friday that she is running for the Democratic nomination for president.

“I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week,” Ms. Gabbard said in a CNN interview scheduled to air Saturday.

A favorite of liberal activists, Ms. Gabbard bolstered her image in 2016 when she emerged as a vocal critic of the Democratic National Committee and resigned from her post as DNC vice chair to Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ presidential bid.

Ms. Gabbard’s announcement comes a little over a week after Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts launched an exploratory committee, and as Julian Castro, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, prepares to enter the race on Saturday.

The field is expected to continue to grow over the coming weeks.

An Iraq War veteran and the first Samoan American member of Congress, Ms. Gabbard told CNN her message will focus on strengthening health care, overhauling the criminal justice system and combating change.

“There is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace,” Ms. Gabbard said in the interview with CNN host Van Jones. “I look forward to being able to get into this and to talk about it in depth when we make our announcement.”