• Who is Tulsi Gabbard? Congresswoman from Hawaii kicks off presidential campaign

    By: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, officially kicked off her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Saturday at an event in Waikiki.

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    Gabbard, 37, had announced her plans to run for the White House last month.

    Here are some things to know about Gabbard:

    • Gabbard was born April 12, 1981, in the American Samoa. She was the fourth of five children born to Carol Porter, a Caucasian woman, and Mike Gabbard, who is of Samoan and European descent. When she was 2 years old, her family moved to Hawaii.
    • In 2002, when Gabbard was 21 years old, she was elected as the youngest person to serve on the Hawaii State Legislature. She served as a member from the state’s 42nd district until 2004, when she left her post for a deployment with the Army National Guard.
    • Gabbard joined the Hawaii Army National Guard in April 2003, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. She’s since served two tours of duty in the Middle East and earned the rank of major.
    • Gabbard was elected in 2010 to serve on the Honolulu City Council, a seat she resigned two years later when she won a surprise victory in the race to represent Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Star-Advertiser reported.
    • When she was sworn in to the House, Gabbard became the first of two female combat veterans to have ever served in the U.S. Congress. She also became the first Hindu member of Congress. 
    • Gabbard has been an avid surfer since she was a child.
      “Every time I get home for a district work week, I make sure I get out on the water a couple of times for an early-morning session,” she told Vogue magazine in 2013. 

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