Rep. Tulsi Gabbard drops out of the presidential race, endorses Joe Biden

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, speaks during a campaign event at Big Grove Brewery. Monday, Feb 11, 2019. — photo by Zak Neumann/Little Village

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard dropped out of the presidential race on Thursday. The four-term member of Congress from Hawaii did very little campaigning this year, but stayed in the race longer than 25 of her fellow Democrats.

During her 13-month-long campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Gabbard presented herself as an opponent of those she called “the professional political class in Washington.” In her statement announcing the campaign’s end, Gabbard said she was giving her “full support to Vice President Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together.”

“I’m confident that he will lead our country guided by the spirit of aloha — respect and compassion — and thus help heal the divisiveness that has been tearing our country apart,” she explained.

The high point of Gabbard’s campaign came on Super Tuesday, when she finished second in American Samoa, with 29.3 percent of the vote, and was awareded two delegates. Gabbard was born on Tutuila, the largest island in the Samoan archipelago, and lived in the territory until her family moved to Hawaii, when she was two.

Although both major parties hold primaries in American Samoa, its residents cannot vote in presidential elections, because it is a territorial possession of the United States.

The winner of the Democratic primary in American Samoa, Michael Bloomberg, dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month.

In October, Gabbard said she would not seek reelection to the House of Representatives. She did not detail any future plans in her statement on Thursday.

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