AUGUSTA, Maine — U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii will hold two town hall-style meetings in Maine in the first Democratic presidential campaign event announced in Maine after the Tuesday primary in New Hampshire as some attention shifts to states voting in March.
Gabbard, a fourth-term representative and the first woman to run for president who is also a combat veteran, is a longshot non-interventionist candidate whose race has been defined by feuds with Democratic establishment figures including 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Her first event will take place on Saturday at the University of Southern Maine from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., according to an event posting from her campaign, followed by another town hall event on Sunday at Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center in Hallowell from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Gabbard finished seventh with just 3.3 percent of votes in the New Hampshire primary after heavily prioritizing the state, going so far as to rent a house in Manchester late last year.
Without evidence, Clinton implied last year that Gabbard is “a Russian asset,” which led to a defamation lawsuit from Gabbard. The congresswoman visited Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in 2017, six years after a civil war began in which more than 500,000 people died.
The United Nations has also documented examples of Assad’s Russia-allied regime using chemical weapons against Syrians, while Gabbard has indicated skepticism of similar claims. Before and after her visit, Gabbard called Assad “ a brutal dictator,” but she has criticized U.S. attempts to overthrow him by saying they would lead terrorist groups to take over.
Gabbard’s has a progressive domestic policy platform. She endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ insurgent 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination and backs a “Medicare for all” plan and has supported a universal basic income on the federal level.
Maine’s Democratic primary is on March 3 and the state has gotten relatively little attention so far. Three remaining candidates — Sanders, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg have held events here so far while Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was among the first to organize here.