Tulsi Gabbard

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

Gabbard crushed political veteran Mufi Hannemann in the August 2012 primary, receiving 54 percent of the vote while Hannemann received 34 percent. In the general election, she faced only token competition in Republican Kawika Crowley. She defeated him by a landslide, gaining 77 percent of the vote, to Crowley’s 19 percent.

The congresswoman ran unopposed in the 2014 primary and easily defeated Crowley again in the general, 76 percent to 18 percent.

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 has criticized the Obama administration’s policies in the Middle East.

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.

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, Tulsi 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.

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 captain 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
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.

Gabbard Crossed The Line With Secret Trip To Syria

Gabbard Crossed The Line With Secret Trip To Syria

The congresswoman has legitimate concerns about regime change, but her Assad-friendly stance on the Syria conflict puts her in an unfavorable light.

Gabbard To Pay Back Costs Of Her Trip To Syria U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard To Pay Back Costs Of Her Trip To Syria

Hawaii’s congresswoman says publicity about her trip and who paid for it has become “a distraction.”

Gabbard Acknowledges Meeting With Syrian President Assad Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gabbard Acknowledges Meeting With Syrian President Assad

The Hawaii congresswoman reveals no details about the encounter during her inauguration week trip to the Middle East.

Few Tears Shed In Hawaii As Trump Dumps Pacific Trade Pact Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Few Tears Shed In Hawaii As Trump Dumps Pacific Trade Pact

The state’s congressional delegation opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but the state Chamber of Commerce expressed concerns.