Tulsi Gabbard won't contest as independent candidate

Tulsi Gabbard won't contest as independent candidate

Tulsi Gabbard. AFP file photo

Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress who is running for the presidency, has said that she will not contest as an independent candidate if she fails to win the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a media report.

Gabbard, 38, an Iraq war veteran who has been serving as the US Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district since 2013, said that she will be going to focus on moving campaign forward, continuing this grassroots campaign, continuing to deliver the message to the American people and ask for their support, CNN reported.

"I will not," she told the network. "No, I have ruled that out."

Gabbard, however, has failed to qualify for the next Democratic debate in September after making it to the first two debates. She reached the fundraising threshold but did not meet the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) polling minimum to qualify, the report said.

She claimed on Thursday that there is "no explanation or transparency around why certain polls are qualifying while other very credible recognised polls are somehow not qualifying."

"Frankly, the DNC has not provided any transparency to voters about how they're making these decisions," she said.

Gabbard, who converted to Hinduism early in her life, is highly popular among Indian-Americans.

Earlier this month, Gabbard took a two-week break to report for active duty with the Hawaiian Army National Guard in Indonesia for training exercises that includes counterterrorism and disaster response.

Gabbard served in the Hawaii Army National Guard in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. She served a second deployment in Kuwait in 2008 and 2009, working with the Kuwaiti Army.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox