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Hawaii Democrat poised to be first Hindu in Congress

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 7:08 p.m. MDT

Candidate for the House of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii with the women from the House of Representatives at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.  (Associated Press) Candidate for the House of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii with the women from the House of Representatives at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (Associated Press)

Our take: Much has been said about Mitt Romney, if elected, would be the first Mormon president. The Religion News Service reports about another first in faith that is likely to come out of Hawaii, where Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is poised to become the first Hindu ever elected to Congress.

(RNS) Hindu Americans have run America’s major companies and universities, won Nobel prizes and Olympic gold medals, directed blockbuster movies, and even flown into space. But one profession has so far been out of reach: Member of Congress.

That may change next week in Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, where Democrat Tulsi Gabbard is poised to win an out-of-nowhere bid over Republican opponent Kawika Crowley. Gabbard was leading Crowley 70 percent to 18 percent, according to an Oct. 12 poll by the Honolulu Civil Beat.

The heavily Democratic district also elected one of two Buddhists to have ever served in Congress, Mazie Hirono, who won her seat in 2006 but is now running for the U.S. Senate.

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