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Gabbard wins Dem nod in Hawaii primary

fili@samoanews.com
Tulsi Gabbard in an official photo taken in 2011. [Gabbard for Congress Campaign]

American Samoa native, Tulsi Gabbard has won the Democratic nomination in Hawai’i’s primary election advancing to the November general election for the state’s second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gabbard, who is from the village of the Leloaloa in American Samoa, defeated her major challenger in Saturday's primary, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who is also of Samoan ancestry.

Her father is Mike Gabbard,  a Hawai’i state senator and her mother is Carol Porter Gabbard.

The Associated Press reported Saturday night that Gabbard received 55 percent of the votes compared to Hannemann’s 35 percent. Hannemann was Honolulu mayor for six years before resigning in 2010 to run for governor of Hawai’i, in an unsuccessful bid.

Gabbard, 31, will go up against Kawika Crowley, who won the Republican nomination on Saturday for the congressional seat, in the general election.

As a member of the Hawai’i National Guard, Gabbard served two tours of duty in the Middle East. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for her service and was recently commissioned as a Captain, according to her bio posted on her campaign website.

She was the youngest woman in America ever elected to a state legislature, when in 2002 at the age of 21 she won a Hawai’i state House seat. Two years later, she gave up her position in the legislature to voluntarily join her fellow soldiers being deployed to a war zone in Iraq.

Between her two deployments to the Middle East, she served as an aide to U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka.  In 2010, she was elected to the Honolulu City Council where she chairs the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs committee.

Gabbard is a candidate for Hawai’i's second congressional district encompassing rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands.

Born in American Samoa in 1981, Gabbard — the fourth of five children — grew up in Hawaii. After high school, Gabbard enrolled at Hawaii Pacific University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in International Business, according to electful.com website.



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