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Tulsi Gabbard was born in American Samoa in 1981, and her family moved to Hawaii when she was 2 years old. Her mother, Carol, is a practicing Hindu, a religion Gabbard adopted. Her father, Mike, is a member of the Hawaii state Senate. After growing up in a politically active family, Gabbard became a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives when she was 21 years old in 2002, the youngest woman to be elected to a state legislature at the time. While serving in the state legislature in 2003, she enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard. She deployed in Iraq and returned in 2006. After returning from her second deployment in 2009, Gabbard ran for Honolulu City Council. She served on the council from 2011 until 2012, when she resigned to focus on her congressional campaign. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012. She was the first practicing Hindu in Congress.
Gabbard is very progressive, and one of the few members of Congress to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary. She resigned her position as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee to endorse him. Gabbard is a supporter of a woman's right to an abortion and received a 100 percent rating from NARAL. She has emphasized environmental and economic issues during her tenure, and supports a $15 minimum wage. She also supports Medicare for All. Although she began her career opposing LGBTQ rights, she is now a supporter of LGBTQ issues and has apologized for her previous views.
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