Honolulu City Councilwoman and Iraq war veteran Tulsi Gabbard announced plans to run for Hawaii’s vacant congressional seat now held by Mazie Hirono.
Hirono, who represents Hawaii in the second congressional district, told her supporters last week through a video message that she will run for the vacant U.S. Senate seat.
Gabbard also made her announcement through a video message found at www.votetulsi.com.
“I have a sincere desire to be of service to all the people of Hawai’i, and I’m confident that I will serve you well. I have the experience, the energy, and the determination to fight for you, our beautiful Hawai’i, and our great country. I would be honored if you would allow me to serve you in Washington,” said Councilwoman Gabbard in the message.
There is a tradition of Gabbards in office. Gabbard’s father, Mike Gabbard, currently serves in the state Senate, and was once in the Honolulu City Council. He also ran for U.S. House. Gabbard’s mother served as an elected school board member.
Tulsi Gabbard was first elected in 2002 to the House at the age of 21 and she was the youngest state representative in U.S. history.
She left the House in 2004 when her Hawai’i National Guard’s 29th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq – she served in the medical unit. Since that time, she returned with her unit to the middle east second time where served as a military police platoon leader and helped to train the Kuwait National Guard.
While back in Hawaii, she worked for U.S. Senator Akaka and focused on energy independence, homeland security, the environment, and veteran affairs.
Gabbard said, “I refuse to accept that our children’s future will be worse than past generations. The future of our children, our families, and our state and country depends upon a strong economy and good jobs. So in congress this will be one of my main priorities. Without a vibrant economy, we will not be able to pay for a strong national defense, environmental protection, education, social security, Medicare, or other social services.”