HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Rep Tulsi Gabbard is endorsing a fellow congresswoman for governor of Hawaii.

Gabbard announced Wednesday she's endorsing U.S. Rep Colleen Hanabusa, who is running against fellow Democrat Gov. David Ige.

Hanabusa says the endorsement is unexpected and shows that in Hawaii, differences are not always divisive.

Gabbard says she made her decision to back Hanabusa before a recent mistaken missile alert caused widespread panic and confusion. Gabbard says that a "failure of leadership" in the Ige administration affirms her belief that Hawaii desperately needs a strong governor.

Ige's campaign didn't immediately comment on the endorsement.

Gabbard was elected to the U.S. House in 2012. She is one of the first female combat veterans to serve in Congress, after deploying to Iraq and Kuwait.