Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2012, 1st term.

Born: April 12, 1981, Leloaloa, A.S.

Home: Honolulu, HI

Education: HI Pacific U., B.S., 2009

Professional Career: Founder, Kanu Productions, 2011-present; cofounder, Healthy Hawaii Coalition, 2000-present; legislative aide, Sen. Daniel Akaka, 2006-07

Ethnicity: Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

Religion: Hinduism

Family: Married (Abraham Williams)

Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is a former Honolulu City Council member who survived a hard-fought primary to notch an easy general election victory in this overwhelmingly Democratic district in 2012, becoming the first Hindu in the House.

The fourth of five children, Gabbard was born in American Samoa and moved with her family to Hawaii at a young age. Her father, Mike Gabbard, was the Republican candidate for this seat in 2004 and currently serves in the Hawaii Senate; her mother, Carol Gabbard, formerly served on the state Board of Education. Both made names in Hawaii politics as strong opponents of gay marriage, a position their daughter rejects. Gabbard was homeschooled, and along with her brothers and sister, helped run a family restaurant. She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

At age 19, Gabbard and her father cofounded the Healthy Hawaii Coalition, an environmental-education nonprofit that teaches elementary students about the ways humans can positively and negatively impact the environment. In 2002, Gabbard ran for and won a seat representing West Oahu in the state House of Representatives. At 21, she was the youngest woman ever elected to a state legislature. “A lot of people told me I was crazy and too young, but I really felt the need and passion to do more with my life and be able to make a positive impact for others,” she said in an interview with National Journal.

While serving in the legislature, she enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard in 2003 as a private and completed her basic training in South Carolina between legislative sessions. In 2004, while campaigning for reelection, her unit was activated, but Gabbard herself was not given orders to deploy. Declaring, “No way would I stay home and watch 3,000 of my brothers and sisters deploy without me,” she withdrew from the campaign and voluntarily deployed with the medical unit for 18 months.

In 2007, she went to Officer Candidate School in Alabama, becoming the first woman to graduate at the top of her class. She deployed again in 2008, to Kuwait as a military police platoon leader training counterterrorism units. She says that one of her main priorities in Congress will be to bring all troops home from Afghanistan. In between tours of duty, she worked as a legislative aide to Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka. She also indulged her longtime interest in film and television by starting her own film production company, Kanu Productions.

Gabbard was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010. She said that her proudest accomplishments in office include helping to legalize food trucks and organizing an environmental cleanup following a landfill overflow.

When Hirono announced her run for the retiring Akaka’s seat, Gabbard was the first of six Democrats to jump into the race, touting herself as a fresh voice for Washington. Her main primary opponent, who led for most of the race, was former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who had run for governor in 2010. She ran on investing in alternative energy as a way of diversifying Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy, as well as making the state’s energy supply more secure.

Hannemann held a 3-to-1 lead in a February 2012 poll, but Gabbard steadily closed the gap, and her 20 percentage-point victory in the primary surprised observers. She went on in the fall to easily beat Kawika Crowley, a Republican handyman who was living out of his car and whose longtime issue has been the repeal of smoking bans in public places.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4906

(202) 225-4987

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1609
Washington, DC 20515-1102

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4906

(202) 225-4987

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1609
Washington, DC 20515-1102

DISTRICT OFFICE

(808) 541-1986

(808) 538-0233

300 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96850-0001

DISTRICT OFFICE

(808) 541-1986

(808) 538-0233

300 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96850-0001

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(808) 861-0793

PO Box 75561
Kapolei, HI 96707

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 75561
Kapolei, HI 96707

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Anthony Ching
Senior Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Animal Rights

Andres Chovil
Legislative Correspondent

Appropriations

Jamie Morgan
Legislative Director

Budget

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Campaign

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Commerce

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Congress

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Consumers

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Economics

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Family

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Finance

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Govt Ops

Andres Chovil
Legislative Correspondent

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Gun Issues

Anthony Ching
Senior Legislative Assistant

Health

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Homeland Security

Jamie Morgan
Legislative Director

Housing

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Intelligence

Jamie Morgan
Legislative Director

Judiciary

Anthony Ching
Senior Legislative Assistant

Labor

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Lobbying Politics

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Medicare

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Military

Jamie Morgan
Legislative Director

Native Americans

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Privacy

Anthony Ching
Senior Legislative Assistant

Rural Affairs

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Seniors

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Small Business

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Social Security

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Tax

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Technology

Andres Chovil
Legislative Correspondent

Telecommunications

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Transportation

Jamie Morgan
Legislative Director

Urban Affairs

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Veterans

Jamie Morgan
Legislative Director

Frank Leota
Constituent Services Representative

Welfare

Dave Chun
Legislative Assistant

dave.chun@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4906

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Tulsi Gabbard
Votes: 168,503
Percent: 80.54%
Kawika Crowley
Votes: 40,707
Percent: 19.46%
2012 PRIMARY
Tulsi Gabbard
Votes: 62,882
Percent: 55.07%
Mufi Hannemann
Votes: 39,176
Percent: 34.32%
Esther Kia'aina
Votes: 6,681
Percent: 5.85%

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