“[is running because] there is one main issue that is central to the rest, and that is the issue of war and peace.”

Photo of Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative for the state of Hawaii, since 2013

Tulsi Gabbard, (TUHL-see GAB-urd) told CNN shortly before her announcement that she sees challenges ahead for the U.S., but her main focus is “the issue of war and peace.” She has stressed a non-interventionist approach to foreign wars, taking conservative stands against U.S. involvement in foreign wars. She also was widely criticized for visiting Syria in 2016 to speak with President Bashar al-Assad.

Accomplishments: Served in a medical army unit in Iraq and Kuwait, was a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee until 2016, when she resigned to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Foreign policy: She said in a tweet: “We need to get out of Syria ASAP in a responsible manner,” but she criticized President Donald Trump’s approach as a “hasty” one that would leave Syrian Kurdish troops in jeopardy.

What sets her apart: If elected, she would be the first Hindu president and the first president born in American Samoa. Also, at age 37, she is one of the youngest candidates.

Platform: Universal pre-kindergarten funded by the federal government, health care access, criminal justice reform.