Tulsi Gabbard

United States Representative from Hawaii from 2013 to 2021

Tulsi Gabbard (born April 12, 1981) is an American politician. She was a member of the Democratic Party until 2022, when she left the party to become an Independent.[1] She was the United States Representative for Hawaii's second congressional district from 2013 to 2021. 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.[2]

Tulsi Gabbard
Official 113th Congressional photo of Tulsi Gabbard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Hawaii's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2021
Preceded byMazie Hirono
Succeeded byKai Kahele
Member of the Honolulu City Council
from the 6th District
In office
January 2, 2011 – August 16, 2012
Preceded byRod Tam
Succeeded byCarol Fukunaga
Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives
from the 42nd district
In office
Preceded byMark Moses
Succeeded byRida Cabanilla
Personal details
Born (1981-04-12) April 12, 1981 (age 43)
Leloaloa, American Samoa, U.S.
Political partyIndependent (2022–present)
Democratic (before 2022)
Spouse(s)Eduardo Tamayo (2002–2006)
Abraham Williams (2015-present)
Alma materHawaii Pacific University
Officer Candidate School, Army
Awards Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Achievement Medal with Oak leaf cluster
Army Good Conduct Medal
Combat Medical Badge
German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency in Gold
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service2004–present
Rank Lt Colonel
Battles/warsIraq War

Gabbard was elected in 2012. She is the first American Samoan[3] and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress.[4] Along with Tammy Duckworth, she is also one of its first female combat veterans.[5]

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.[6] She dropped out from the primaries on March 19, 2020 and announced her support for Joe Biden. After leaving the U.S. House in 2021, she became more conservative on social issues such as abortion and transgender rights and even spoke at the 2022 CPAC.[7][8][9]

Early life


Gabbard was born on April 12, 1981, in Leloaloa, American Samoa,[10] the fourth of five children.[11] 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.[12][13]

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%).[14] Gabbard then defeated Republican Alfonso Jimenez in the general election, 65%–35%.[15] 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.[16][17] She represented the Oahu 42nd District, which covers Waipahu, Honolulu, and Ewa Beach.

Gabbard strongly supported legislation to promote clean energy.[18] 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.[19] Gabbard finished first with 33% of the vote in the primary.[20] In the November 2 runoff election, she defeated Sesnita Moepono, 58%–42%, to win the seat.[21] Gabbard introduced a measure to help food truck vendors by loosening parking restrictions.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24] 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."[25] Gabbard resigned from the City Council on August 16 to prevent the cost of holding a special election.[26]

Gabbard traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[27]

In December 2012, Gabbard was highly thought to be the frontrunner replaced for the U.S. Senator from Hawaii after Daniel Inouye died.[28]

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%).[29] Gabbard was overwhelmingly reelected in 2018.[30] 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[31] and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress.[32][33]

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.[34][35]

Gabbard resigned as DNC vice-chair on February 28, 2016, in order to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.[36][37] She was the first female U.S. Representative to endorse Sanders.[38] At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Gabbard gave the nominating speech putting his name forward.[39]

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.[40] On January 11, 2019 interview with CNN, Gabbard confirmed her plans to seek the Democratic nomination and officially announced her candidacy the following week.[41]

After failing to qualify in recent debates or winning any primary contests, Gabbard left the race on March 19, 2020 and supported Joe Biden.[42][43][44]

Personal life


In 2002, Gabbard was a martial arts instructor.[45]

In 2002, Gabbard married Eduardo Tamayo. The couple divorced in 2006.[46] In February 2015, Gabbard got engaged to Abraham Williams, and the two married on April 9, 2015.[47]


  1. Dress, Brad (October 11, 2022). "Gabbard Says She Can't Stay in 'Today's Democratic Party'". The Hill. Retrieved October 11, 2022.
  2. "Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard resigns from DNC, endorses Bernie Sanders". Reuters. February 28, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  3. "Faleomavaega congratulates Tulsi Gabbard as first Samoan woman elected to the U.S. Congress". Samoa News. November 30, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2012. Congressman Faleomavaega has congratulated Tulsi Gabbard on her recent election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Gabbard will become the first Samoan-American congresswoman after her swearing in ceremony at the opening of the 113th Congress.
  4. "Hindu-American Tulsi Gabbard wins Democratic primary in Hawaii". The Economic Times. August 12, 2012.
  5. Cindy Huang and Ellen Rolfes (November 12, 2012). "Meet the Incoming Congressional Class Veterans". PBS. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  6. Elfrink, Tim (October 25, 2019). "Tulsi Gabbard wont' run for re-election to Congress as she seeks Democratic presidential nomination". Washington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  7. "Is Tulsi Gabbard the GOP's Dark Horse?". New Statesman. 2022-01-13. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  8. "A Bold Pro-Life Move for a Democrat". National Review. 2020-12-17. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  9. "Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill That Would Ban Trans Women and Girls from Female Sports". Time. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  10. "GABBARD, Tulsi - US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". history.house.gov.
  11. "The Gabbards: Raising Hawaii's next political star (Part 1)". www.hawaiinewsnow.com.
  12. Tulsi Gabbard (January 1, 2012). "The Unique, Historic, and Inspiring Life of Tulsi Gabbard". Tulsi Gabbard. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  13. "Alumni News". HPU Alumni Newsletter (12). Hawaii Pacific University: 23. 2012. Archived from the original on March 2, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2012. Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard (BSBA International Business 2009)
  14. RBH. "HI State House 42 – D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  15. Wishful Thinking. "HI State House 42". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  16. Blake, Aaron; Sullivan, Sean (September 7, 2012). "The 10 Biggest Surprises of the Conventions". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  17. Wyler, Grace; Hickey, Walter (December 8, 2012). "12 Fascinating People Who Are Heading To Congress Next Year". Business Insider. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  18. "Hawaii State Legislature". Capitol.hawaii.gov. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  19. Gabbard Tamayo, Tulsi (July 6, 2010). "Hawaii Veteran Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo Runs for Honolulu City Council". Hawaii Reporter. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  20. eddy 9_99. "Honolulu Council 6". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 30, 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  21. RBH. "Honolulu Council 6 – Runoff". Our Campaigns. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  22. "Parking restrictions eased for food truck vendors". KHON2. April 3, 2012. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  23. Leong, Jodi (December 8, 2011). "Honolulu Council Votes To Allow Property Removal From City Sidewalks: Measure Still Needs Mayor's Signature". KITV News. Archived from the original on June 29, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  24. "Tulsi Gabbard announces candidacy for U.S. Congress". Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  25. Pang, Gordon Y.K. (August 11, 2012). "Gabbard Upsets Hanneman". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  26. "Tulsi Gabbard Post Primary Election". KITV. August 13, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
  27. Tulsi Gabbard (September 4, 2012). Watch: Tulsi Gabbard speaks at DNC. Charlotte, NC: KHON News Hawaii.
  28. Keoki Kerr; Rick Daysog (December 26, 2012). "Dems choose Hanabusa, Kiaaina, Schatz as finalists for Inouye Senate seat". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  29. "Hawaii U.S. House 2nd District Results: Tulsi Gabbard Wins". New York Times. November 13, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  30. "Rep.Tulsi Gabbard wins Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District seat". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2019-12-25. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  31. Board, Post Editorial (1 March 2016). "Cheers to Tulsi Gabbard for standing up to the Clinton machine".
  32. PTI. "Tulsi Gabbard Named Chairperson of World Hindu Congress 2018". India West. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  33. Kaleem, Jaweed (4 January 2013). "Tulsi Gabbard, First Hindu In Congress, Uses Bhagavad Gita At Swearing-In" – via Huff Post.
  34. Rick Daysog (October 12, 2015). "Tulsi Gabbard says she was uninvited to Democratic presidential debate". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  35. Harry Enten (May 6, 2015). "Is Six Democratic Debates Too Few?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  36. "Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard resigns from DNC, endorses Bernie Sanders". Reuters. February 28, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  37. Alana Wise (February 12, 2016). David Goodman, Jonathan Oatis (ed.). "Congresswoman quits Democratic National Committee, endorses Bernie Sanders". Reuters. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  38. Gabriel Debenedetti (February 28, 2016). "Tulsi Gabbard backs Sanders". Politico. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  39. "Hawaii Rep. Gabbard To Nominate Sanders At Dem Convention". Big Island Video News. July 26, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  40. "Tulsi Gabbard weighing 2020 presidential bid". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-10-20.
  41. Kelly, Caroline (11 January 2019). "Rep. Gabbard says she will run for president in 2020". CNN. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  42. "Tulsi Gabbard ends presidential campaign, backs Joe Biden". USA Today.
  43. "Gabbard ends long-shot 2020 presidential bid, throws support to Biden". 19 March 2020.
  44. "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard drops out of the Democratic presidential primary, endorses Joe Biden". CNBC. 19 March 2020.
  45. Toth, Catherine E. (September 13, 2002). "'Ewa candidates talk traffic". The Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  46. Eduardo Sangco Tamayo v. Tulasi G. Tamayo (“Divorce Decree 06/05/2006”). Text
  47. "Quiet, low-key approach to love suits congresswoman just fine". Archived from the original on February 19, 2015.

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