A candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to run for President visited Washington County Tuesday. U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii met with voters at Cafe Dodici in Washington on the first day of her Coffee and Toffee Tour, sharing toffee handmade by her mother with those in attendance. She is a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard and served two tours overseas. She discussed a new cold war with nuclear capable countries and the need for more diplomacy. She said that a false alarm in Hawaii of an incoming missile strike telling people to seek immediate shelter, but with nowhere to go, was part of the reason she decided to run for President, “It does not have to be this way, and I want to do everything I possibly can to make sure that none of you, none of your loved ones, your children, or anyone will have to go through what our families went through in Hawaii. Which is why as President one of the first things that I’ll do is immediately call for a summit between the United States and Russia and China to begin to de-escalate these tensions. To begin to end this new cold war and walk us back away from the brink of nuclear catastrophe that we face. We’re still as we sit here, the United States and Russia have hundreds, if not thousands of missiles pointed directly at each other on hair-trigger alert that could be launched within a few minutes notice.”

Gabbard said working together is the only way to move forward as a country, “Leading with aloha, leading with respect, bringing people together, extending the invitation to come together to Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, saying we are all Americans. Let’s stay rooted in that foundation, come together to see how we can work for the best interest of our country. To put the well-being of our people ahead of profits, ahead of partisanship, ahead of all of the corporate special interests and others who seek to divide us for their own interests. Instead, just relate to each other as people.”

Gabbard also took questions from the audience, during which she said there need to be improvements to the records systems for the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, environmental impacts of development need to be analyzed, that trade issues are hurting farmers and need to be addressed, and that her experience as a veteran sets her apart.