Councilwoman and former State Legislator Tulsi Gabbard is running for Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District seat
Prospects and Opponents: The 2nd Congressional District includes rural Oahu and neighboring islands. Gabbard's main competitors are two other democrats in the primary – Mufi Hannemann, a former Mayor of Honolulu, and Bob Marx, an attorney and small businessman, who is being endorsed by Democracy for America. Hannemann is outpolling the other candidates, with the primary election only one month away. A Republican has never been elected in this district, and the winner of this primary will likely be the Congressional Representative. Hannemann is best known, but Gabbard's personal history and military service have helped her name recognition.
Background and Legislative Achievements: Gabbard comes from strong conservative roots, especially from her father who has been a long-time powerful public official. During her time abroad in the Military, Gabbard says that her experiences changed her prospective to view all issue through a feminist lens. Gabbard was a State Legislator in Hawaii's 42nd District in West Oahu in 2002, and served on the Education, Higher Education, Tourism, and Economic Development committees. In 2003, she joined the Hawaii National Guard; and although she could have stayed in the legislature, instead, volunteered to deploy to Iraq with her unit. In 2008, as a 2nd Lt., she deployed for a 2nd tour to train the Kuwaiti National Guard Counter Terrorism Unit. In 2010, Gabbard was elected to the Honolulu City Council and chairs the Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs committee and is Vice Chair of the Budget committee, where she has taken the lead on issues such as medical waste, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), dengue fever.
Position on Key Issues: Gabbard says that she will fight to save Roe v. Wade, and will oppose all efforts to undermine women's reproductive freedom. She supports equal rights for everyone, and would fight to repeal DOMA, at the federal level and would support civil unions at the state level as an interim measure, but feels that government should not be in the business of defining what marriage is or is not.
Endorsements: U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka has endorsed Gabbard (she was his former aide assisting him with veterans affairs). She has also been endorsed by VoteVets.org., Emily's List, and Women Under Forty.