Emphasizing a message of unity, Deedra Abboud, a Phoenix attorney and community activist, on Monday announced she will seek the 2018 Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

Abboud, 45, formally launched her candidacy at a brief 10:30 a.m. event with supporters at the Japanese Friendship Garden in downtown Phoenix.

"The journey that I have decided to take on today is not just for the people who look like me or sound like me, but for all Arizonans," Abboud told onlookers. "Because we cannot continue to go backwards on this path that weakens our children's education, strips health care from people who need it the most, locking up and breaking up families, and, once again, empowering big banks that caused the worst housing crisis in Arizona.

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