Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard suspending presidential campaign, will support Joe Biden

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during the second of two Democratic presidential primary...
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during the second of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)(Paul Sancya | AP)
Updated: Mar. 19, 2020 at 5:32 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday announced she’s suspending her presidential campaign and will support former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The best way I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and well-being of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress, and to stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawaii National Guard be activated,” Gabbard said, citing the coronavirus pandemic.

In an email and video message to her supporters, she said she will now back Biden, who has scored big wins in primaries across the country.

“After Tuesday’s primary results, it is clear that Democratic Primary voters have chosen Vice President Joe Biden to be the person who will take on President Trump in the general election,” she said.

Her support for Biden may come as a surprise after she stepped down from the Democratic National Committee to endorse U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential elections.

Throughout her campaign, Gabbard had strong performances in the first few Democratic presidential debates, where she was best remembered for her heated exchange with fellow contender U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris. But she struggled to gain traction and maintained low poll numbers, failing to qualify for the last several debates.

She also garnered national headlines for a public spat with Hillary Clinton, suing the former secretary of state over a comment that suggested Gabbard was a Russian asset.

It’s unclear what Gabbard will do next because she announced that she will step down from her seat in Congress when her term ends. And when asked in an interview with Hawaii News Now on Wednesday night if she’s reconsidering, she simply said, “No, I’m not.”

Gabbard’s exit means that Biden and Sanders are the only remaining Democratic candidates in the presidential race.

This story will be updated.

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