Tulsi Gabbard (born April 12, 1981) is an American politician and Hawaii Army National Guard major serving as the U.S. Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district. Elected in 2012, she is the first Hindu member of Congress and the first Samoan-American voting member of Congress. Gabbard's announcement of her intention to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2020 US presidential election made her the first female combat veteran to run for president.
In 2002, Gabbard was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives. In 2004, she became the first state legislator to voluntarily step down from public office for a tour of duty in a war zone. Gabbard served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard in a combat zone in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and was deployed to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009. She was a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2013 to 2016, when she resigned to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Gabbard's domestic policy platform in her campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination is economically and socially progressive and has been described as "similar to Bernie Sanders ... in many respects". She supports Medicare for All and strengthening the reproductive rights framework of Roe v Wade by codifying it into federal law. She voted and lobbied against LGBT rights in Hawaii until 2004, but in 2012 Gabbard she apologized for her "anti-gay advocacy."
Gabbard opposes military interventionism and has called herself a "hawk" on terrorism. Her decision to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and her skeptical approach to two claims he had used chemical weapons were controversial, particularly among "leading establishment Democrats".
On October 25, 2019, Gabbard announced that she will not seek another term in Congress.
Campaign Finance Reform
Hawaii House of Representatives
Hawaii Army National Guard
Honolulu City Council
Senate Legislative Aid
House of Representatives, HI
BS in Business Administration from Hawaii Pacific University