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Tulsi Gabbard
Official 113th Congressional photo of Tulsi Gabbard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Mazie Hirono
Member of the Honolulu City Council
from the 6th District
In office
January 2, 2011 – August 16, 2012
Preceded by Rod Tam
Succeeded by Carol Fukunaga
Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives
from the 42nd district
In office
2002–2004
Preceded by Mark Moses
Succeeded by Rida Cabanilla
Personal details
Born April 12, 1981 (1981-04-12) (age 39)
Leloaloa, American Samoa, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Eduardo Tamayo (2002–2006)
Abraham Williams (2015-present)
Alma mater Hawaii Pacific University
Officer Candidate School, Army
Awards Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Army Achievement Medal with Oak leaf cluster
Army Good Conduct ribbon.svg Army Good Conduct Medal
Combat Medical Badge, 1st award.svg Combat Medical Badge
BW Military Proficiency Ribbon.png German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency in Gold
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service 2004–present
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major
Battles/wars Iraq War

Tulsi Gabbard (born April 12, 1981) is an American politician. She was a member of the Democratic Party. She has been the United States Representative for Hawaii's second congressional district since 2013. She was also a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until 28 February 2016. She resigned in order to support Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Gabbard was elected in 2012. She is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress. Along with Tammy Duckworth, she is also one of its first female combat veterans.

In January 2019, Gabbard announced her plans to run for President of the United States in the 2020 presidential election. On October 25, 2019, Gabbard announced that she will not seek another term in Congress. She dropped out from the primaries on March 19, 2020 and announced her support for Joe Biden.

Early life

Gabbard was born on April 12, 1981, in Leloaloa, American Samoa, the fourth of five children. Her father, Mike Gabbard, is of American Samoan descent. She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 2009.

Hawaii House of Representatives (2002–2004)

In 2002, Gabbard ran to represent the 42nd House District of the Hawaii House of Representatives. She won the four-candidate Democratic primary with a plurality of 48% of the vote over Rida Cabanilla (30%), Dolfo Ramos (18%), and Gerald Vidal (4%). Gabbard then defeated Republican Alfonso Jimenez in the general election, 65%–35%. In 2002, at the age of 21, Gabbard had become the youngest legislator ever elected in Hawaii's history and the youngest woman ever elected to a U.S. state legislature. She represented the Oahu 42nd District, which covers Waipahu, Honolulu, and Ewa Beach.

Gabbard strongly supported legislation to promote clean energy. Regarding the environment, Gabbard supported legislation to better protect air quality and the water supply.

Honolulu City Council (2011–2012)

After returning home from her second deployment to the Middle East in 2009, Gabbard ran for a seat on the Honolulu City Council. Gabbard finished first with 33% of the vote in the primary. In the November 2 runoff election, she defeated Sesnita Moepono, 58%–42%, to win the seat. Gabbard introduced a measure to help food truck vendors by loosening parking restrictions. She also introduced Bill 54, a measure that authorized city workers to confiscate personal belongings stored on public property with 24 hours' notice to its owner.

United States House of Representatives (2013–present)

In early 2011, Mazie Hirono, the incumbent Congresswoman in Hawaii's second congressional district, announced that she would run for a U.S. Senate seat. Soon after that, in May 2011, Gabbard announced her candidacy for the House seat. Gabbard won with 62,882 votes or 55% of the total. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser described her win as an "improbable rise from a distant underdog to victory." Gabbard resigned from the City Council on August 16 to prevent the cost of holding a special election.

Gabbard traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

In December 2012, Gabbard was highly thought to be the frontrunner replaced for the U.S. Senator from Hawaii after Daniel Inouye died.

Gabbard was reelected on November 8, 2016, defeating her Republican opponent, Angela Kaaihue, by about 130,000 votes, or 170,848 to 39,668 votes (81.2%–18.8%). Gabbard was overwhelmingly reelected in 2018. She defeated her Republican opponent, Brian Evans, by around 110,000 votes, or 153,271 to 44,850 votes (77.4%–22.6%).

Gabbard is the first Samoan American member of the United States Congress and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress.

In October 2019, Gabbard announced her retirement from congress.

Democratic National Committee

Gabbard, a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, was critical of the decision by DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to hold only six debates during the 2016 Democratic Party primary season, compared with 26 in 2008 and 15 in 2004.

Gabbard resigned as DNC vice-chair on February 28, 2016, in order to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. She was the first female U.S. Representative to endorse Sanders. At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Gabbard gave the nominating speech putting his name forward.

2020 presidential campaign

On October 19, 2018, Politico announced that Gabbard was "weighing a 2020 presidential bid", and would wait until after the 2018 midterms for an official announcement. On January 11, 2019 interview with CNN, Gabbard confirmed her plans to seek the Democratic nomination and officially announced her candidacy the following week.

After failing to qualify in recent debates or winning any primary contests, Gabbard left the race on March 19, 2020 and supported Joe Biden.

Personal life

In 2002, Gabbard was a martial arts instructor.

In 2002, Gabbard married Eduardo Tamayo. The couple divorced in 2006. In February 2015, Gabbard got engaged to Abraham Williams, and the two married on April 9, 2015.

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