Firsts elected to Congress this cycle

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8 2012 5:47 p.m. MST

Democrat Colleen Hanabusa, right, congratulates candidate Tulsi Gabbard after both women won their Hawaii Congressional district seats, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at the Japanese Cultural Center in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Marco Garcia, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Our take: There were a lot of firsts in faith during the 2012 election season. Here is an informative roundup by the Washington Post of election results that resulted in some firsts in Congress. Among them are the election of a Hindu in the House and a Buddhist in the Senate, which will make those chambers reflect the diverse religious landscape of the United States.

Democrat Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii was elected Tuesday, succeeding Rep. Mazie K. Hirono, who ran for the U.S. Senate.

The Iraq War veteran, born in American Samoa to a Catholic father and a Hindu mother, served on the Honolulu City Council and in the state Legislature.

Hirono, who is Buddhist, also won her race Tuesday. In 2006, she and Georgia Democrat Hank Johnson were the first Buddhists elected to Congress; in 2010, Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat from Hawaii who is also Buddhist was also elected. She will be the first Buddhist senator when the new Congress convenes in January, Religion News Service reported Wednesday.

Read more about various firsts elected to Congress on The Washington Post.

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