Running for: U.S. Congress (Hawaii’s 2nd District), Democratic nomination
Running against: Rafael Del Castillo, Mufi Hannemann, Esther Kia‘aina, Bob Marx, Miles Shiratori
Birthplace: Leloaloa, American Samoa
Profession: Honolulu City Council member
Electoral Win/Loss Record: 2/0
First electoral victory: Hawaii state Representative (at age 21!), 2002
Supports: Restoring the Glass-Steagall bank regulation act, tax credits for green companies who move to Hawaii, infrastructure spending, lower payroll taxes for small businesses.
Opposes: The war in Afghanistan,
naked credit defaults, big banks.
Gets campaign donations from: Labor unions, government employees, servicemembers, environmental firms (according to the Center for Responsive Politics).
Tulsi Gabbard (she dropped her husband’s name Tamayo in 2011) is a fascinating candidate. She’s still in her very early 30s, and yet she’s held a couple elected offices, served with the Hawaii National Guard in Iraq (she’s a company commander now) and worked as a legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka. But as far as ideology goes, she’s something of a cipher. Her father is state Senator Mike Gabbard, one of the nastier gay-baiters in Hawaii politics. A number of his former aides and campaign officials now work for his daughter. Yet at the same time, the very liberal EMILY’s List political action committee has endorsed Gabbard. In the past, Gabbard herself has not been friendly toward homosexuality–in 2004, Honolulu Magazine quoted her as saying, “To try to act as if there is a difference between ‘civil unions’ and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii… As Democrats we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists.” But lately she’s spoken of a “leftward journey” she’s making. How far to the left is not something that’s knowable.