Hawaii candidates for federal office love to play up their local support.

But a Civil Beat analysis of U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard‘s most recent campaign filing shows a candidate who has been traveling a lot and raising money throughout the country.

The filing, covering July 15 through Oct. 15, with the Federal Election Commission shows that Gabbard had three times as many donors on the mainland — 146 total — as compared with Hawaii. Dozens of donors listed addresses in California, Texas and New Jersey.

In fact, Gabbard’s congressional campaign received more individual donations from people living in Florida than from donors living in Hawaii during the recent reporting period. Fifty-one denizens of the Sunshine State gave to the 2nd Congressional District representative versus 47 from the Aloha State.

The mainland generosity added up to $135,928 in donations as compared with $53,760 from the islands — a greater than 2-to-1 margin.

“Tulsi’s philosophy and message of servant leadership, her unique personal story, and dedication to serving diverse communities that she represents has clearly resonated with people in Hawaii and around the country,” said Gabbard’s chief of staff, Jessica Vanden Berg, in an emailed statement. “Because of that she has received substantial grassroots support in Hawaii and has garnered a strong national backing.” 

The out-of-state analysis doesn’t include contributions from political action committees, but those generally are mainly mainland groups.

Gabbard reported raising more than $272,000 in the third quarter, $220,000 of it from individuals. PACs gave $51,500, and she had $612,000 in cash on hand at the end of the reporting period.

It’s a healthy haul for a freshmen lawmaker who thus far faces no opponent in the Democratic primary or a Republican challenger in the general election.

What’s unusual is all the mainland money. Hawaii candidates for federal office frequently call attention to how much they raise locally, as if to solidify their commitment to local voters.

For instance, state Rep. Mark Takai, who is running for the 1st Congressional Seat being vacated by Colleen Hanabusa, touted that 92 percent of his $119,000 in third-quarter donations came from people living in Hawaii. Another CD1 candidate, Honolulu City Councilman Ikaika Anderson, said 92 percent of his $163,300 also came from Hawaii.

Pride in raising money from Hawaii was reflected in the U.S. Senate race last year, too. For example, like Gabbard, Republican Linda Lingle received large chunks of cash from people living in Florida, California and Texas. Still, in the first quarter of 2012, 55 percent of Lingle’s individual donations came from the islands. Her Democratic opponent Mazie Hirono reported an even higher percentage of local support.

Gabbard also spent a lot of time and money flying for campaign-related activities this summer and into the fall. She spent $11,110 on 34 trips, most of them on airlines. Hundreds of dollars were paid to Hotels.com.

Gabbard’s campaign declined to comment on why Gabbard felt it necessary to fly so much. The finance records don’t specify where she went.

There is no doubt that Gabbard is a popular and in-demand public figure.

Civil Beat polls have consistently showed her approval rating to be over 60 percent, higher that Hirono, Hanabusa and Sen. Brian Schatz. Gabbard is also admired by Indian-Americans because she is the first Hindu elected to Congress.

While one must be very careful about reading too much into surnames, Gabbard’s recent filing suggests that that admiration may have led to campaign contributions.

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