Gabbard has emerged in recent years as a paradox of the progressive movement.
When she was first elected to Congress MSNBC host Rachel Maddow declared at the time: “She is on the fast track to being very famous.”
Indeed, Gabbard swiftly cemented herself as one to watch – she co-founded the Congressional Future Caucus – bringing together the youngest members of Congress with an eye on addressing issues facing millennials and landed assignments on the House committees on foreign affairs and armed services.
In the 2016 election cycle Gabbard seized on an opportunity to further her rise to national prominence.
At the height of the hotly contested Democratic presidential primary Gabbard resigned from her position as the vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee and endorsed the insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders.
Gabbard’s move came as Democrats struggled to rein in an intra-party feud stemming from allegations that the DNC was working behind the scenes to influence the nominating contest in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
Two years later Gabbard’s support for Sanders has paid dividends.
Her re-election bid drew the endorsement of Our Revolution – a grassroots political organization launched by veterans of Sanders’ campaign.