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Tulsi Gabbard

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: The Media Is Ignoring Me Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Tulsi Gabbard: The Media Is Ignoring Me

The Hawaii congresswoman is known for refusing media interviews and dodging debates yet she now says she’s being ignored.

Indian Americans Are Big Donors To Gabbard Campaign Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Indian Americans Are Big Donors To Gabbard Campaign

The Hawaii congresswoman, who was the first Hindu elected to Congress, has used her connections to the Indian community to fill her political war chest.

Chad Blair: Why, Tulsi, Why? Team Tulsi

Chad Blair: Why, Tulsi, Why?

Her fans cried, “Run, Tulsi, Run.” But now the Hawaii congresswoman’s presidential campaign is sputtering and the big question is why is she staying in the race?

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Raises $1.9 Million In Bid For White House Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Raises $1.9 Million In Bid For White House

Meanwhile, Kai Kahele, the state senator vying to take her congressional seat, says he feels good about the $250,000 he raised so far.

Sen. Kai Kahele Says He’s Raised $250,000 To Challenge Tulsi Gabbard Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Sen. Kai Kahele Says He’s Raised $250,000 To Challenge Tulsi Gabbard

The state senator says the money came from 3,231 donors after he announced his congressional candidacy.

Tulsi Gabbard’s Financial Disclosures Leave Out Ties To Koch-Funded Think Tank Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Tulsi Gabbard’s Financial Disclosures Leave Out Ties To Koch-Funded Think Tank

The Hawaii congresswoman, who’s running as a Democrat for president, sits on a foreign policy advisory council for the Catholic University of America.

Gabbard Greeted In Iowa By Friendly Crowds And Fierce Weather Nick Grube/Civil Beat

Gabbard Greeted In Iowa By Friendly Crowds And Fierce Weather

The Hawaii congresswoman braved wintry conditions on her first visit to the Hawkeye State since announcing her presidential candidacy.

Neal Milner: Gabbard Lost Her Political Acumen At Just The Wrong Time Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Neal Milner: Gabbard Lost Her Political Acumen At Just The Wrong Time

The Hawaii congresswoman is still surprisingly outspoken and non-PC at times, but she’s also become closed-off, managed and overly defensive.

Gabbard Takes Heat On MSNBC Over Russia, Assad Screen shot

Gabbard Takes Heat On MSNBC Over Russia, Assad

As the Hawaii congresswoman escalates her bid for president, she’s already facing stiff questions from journalists on a number of issues.

Tulsi Gabbard On Running For President: ‘We Must Fight For The Soul Of Our Country’ Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Tulsi Gabbard On Running For President: ‘We Must Fight For The Soul Of Our Country’

The U.S. representative from Hawaii held her first public rally on Saturday in her quest to win the White House in 2020.

Tulsi Gabbard Kicks Off 2020 Campaign With $2 Million In The Bank Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Tulsi Gabbard Kicks Off 2020 Campaign With $2 Million In The Bank

The Hawaii congresswoman will need to raise a lot more if she expects to compete with Democrat heavyweights such as Elizabeth Warren, who reported having $11 million in cash on hand.