HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard resigned from her Democratic National Committee post on Sunday to endorse presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who was vice chairwoman of the DNC, said she wanted to take a stand and support someone "who has foresight and good judgment; who understands the need for a foreign policy which is robust in defending the safety and security of the American policy; who will not waste precious lives and money on interventionist wars of regime change."
Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran and rising star in the Democratic party, is a high-profile endorsement for Sanders coming on the heels of a big loss for the candidate in South Carolina. She's just the fourth member of Congress to endorse Sanders, the Washington Post reported.
On Twitter, Sanders said he was honored to have Gabbard's endorsement.
The Hawaii representative stepped down from the DNC because officers aren't allowed to endorse candidates. But her decision comes after months of rising tensions within the group.
Gabbard, one of five vice chairs, and her committee colleagues have publicly disagreed over the thin debate schedule in the months leading up to Democratic voting contests for the party's nomination, with Gabbard calling for the group to add more debates to the calendar.
In a video posted on YouTube, Gabbard said Americans are presented with a "clear choice" between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement accepting Gabbard's resignation, calling her a friend and praising the Congresswoman for her service in the armed forces.
"Congresswoman Gabbard is a role model who embodies the American ideal that anyone can dream big and make a difference," Wasserman said in the statement. "She is also a colleague in Congress and a friend, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside her when our Party unites behind whoever emerges as our nominee."