Tulsi Gabbard

| Suggest an Edit

Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, represents Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District.

Gabbard crushed political newcomer Angela Kaaihue to win her third term in 2016. Gabbard amassed 81 per cent of the vote while Kaaihue got 18 per cent.

While in Congress, Gabbard quickly established herself as a rising star, appearing frequently on cable and TV news programs. Her primary interest has been national security issues, and she criticized both the Obama and Trump administrations’ policies in the Middle East.

Early in 2017 she made trip to Syria to see what the situation was with refugees and also talked with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and defended him when hundreds of his countrymen died of chemical poisoning. Gabbard was criticized in Washington, D.C. for saying that she didn’t think he was responsible. At best she meddled in U.S. diplomatic affairs and appeared to be misled by Assad and his supporters.

In February 2016, Gabbard garnered headlines when she resigned as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign.

Before Gabbard was elected to Congress, she represented District 6 on the Honolulu City Council, a post she held since January 2011. She serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees.

District 6 covers a portion of Makiki, Downtown Honolulu, Punchbowl, Liliha, Pauoa Valley, Nuuanu, Alewa Heights, Papakolea, Kalihi Valley and some of Kalihi.

Gabbard was born in Leoaloa, American Samoa, in 1981 but moved to Hawaii with her family when she was 2 years old. Settling in Wahiawa, the family maintained two small businesses, including Hawaiian Toffee Treasures. Her father, Mike Gabbard, has also gained a presence in local politics, serving on the Honolulu City Council between 2003 and 2005 and on the state Senate for District 19 since 2006.

At age 19, Gabbard co-founded Healthy Hawaii Coalition, a nonprofit aimed at protecting the environment and advocating individual and community health.

She was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002, representing District 42 in West Oahu and serving on the Education, Higher Education, Tourism and Economic Development committees. Just 21 years old at the time, she was the youngest person ever elected to the Hawaii Legislature.

Her rise to the U.S. House has been relative quick and sure-footed and her personable appearance has garnered as much as $2 million for her 2018 house race should she choose to remain.

She joined the National Guard in 2003. A year later, she volunteered to serve in the war in Iraq and gave up her position in the Legislature. Gabbard continues to serve as a major in the Hawaii National Guard’s 29th Brigade Combat Team.

Gabbard moved to Washington, D.C., in 2006 to serve as a legislative aid to Sen. Daniel Akaka, advising him on issues surrounding energy independence, homeland security, the environment and veteran affairs.

In 2007 she attended the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at Ft. McClellan, Alabama and was the first female Distinguished Honor Graduate in the 50-year history of the Academy.

After being deployed to the Middle East for a second time in 2008, she returned to Hawaii to complete a degree in international business from Hawaii Pacific University. In 2010, she was elected to the Honolulu City Council.

Tulsi Gabbard
How Tulsi Gabbard Wound Up Blacklisted By Azerbaijan Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Tulsi Gabbard Wound Up Blacklisted By Azerbaijan

The Central Asian country called a trip by the Hawaii representative and other members of Congress to Armenia and Artsakh a “provocation.”

Gabbard Rakes In Far More Campaign Cash Than Hanabusa Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gabbard Rakes In Far More Campaign Cash Than Hanabusa

The latest federal campaign finance reports indicate very different strategies by Hawaii’s congresswomen, and reinforce the notion Hanabusa may run for governor.

Hawaii Leaders Say State Is Under ‘Attack’ With Loss Of Federal Funds Civil Beat

Hawaii Leaders Say State Is Under ‘Attack’ With Loss Of Federal Funds

The proposed reauthorization of a housing bill leaves out annual funding of up to $13 million for Native Hawaiians.

Pulling Out Of Climate Accord Will Hit Hawaii Hard, Officials Say Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Pulling Out Of Climate Accord Will Hit Hawaii Hard, Officials Say

Stressing how an island state is particularly vulnerable, elected leaders and environmentalists resolved to continue local efforts.

Campaign Cash Flowing To Hawaii’s Congresswomen Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Campaign Cash Flowing To Hawaii’s Congresswomen

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has amassed $2 million, while Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has about an eighth of that.

Gabbard Focuses On North Korea Amid Questions About Syria Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Gabbard Focuses On North Korea Amid Questions About Syria

At her most contentious of three town hall meetings so far, the congresswoman tells her Kailua audience that Hawaii is in the “crosshairs.”

Gabbard Draws Cordial But Subdued Crowd On Lanai Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gabbard Draws Cordial But Subdued Crowd On Lanai

The Hawaii congresswoman’s town hall tour of the islands continued Thursday night.

Under Fire In DC, Gabbard Is Still A Hit On The Big Island Kirstin Downey/Civil Beat

Under Fire In DC, Gabbard Is Still A Hit On The Big Island

About 400 people turn out for the congresswoman’s town hall, and seem unconcerned about her controversial stands on Syria.

Gabbard Skeptical That Syria Was Behind Chemical Attack Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Gabbard Skeptical That Syria Was Behind Chemical Attack

The Hawaii congresswoman, who met with President Assad in January, goes on CNN to strongly criticize the U.S. military retaliation.

Gabbard Met Assad Twice For A Total Of Two Hours U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard Met Assad Twice For A Total Of Two Hours

The Syrian president was the first person the Hawaii congresswoman formally met with in Damascus.

Cost Of Gabbard’s Trip To Syria And Lebanon? $9,000 Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Cost Of Gabbard’s Trip To Syria And Lebanon? $9,000

The Hawaii congresswoman has reimbursed an Ohio Arab-American community group for the expenses, but she has not completed all the necessary paperwork.

Petition Calls for Gabbard’s Removal From Key US House Posts Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Petition Calls for Gabbard’s Removal From Key US House Posts

Organizers and signers are “infuriated and deeply troubled” by the Hawaii congresswoman’s recent trip to Syria, where she met with Bashar Assad.