Tulsi Gabbard (/ˈtʌlsi ˈɡæbərd/, born April 12, 1981) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has been the United States Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district since 2013. She was also a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until February 28, 2016, when she resigned in order to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Elected in 2012, she is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu member of the United States Congress, and, along with Tammy Duckworth, one of its first female combat veterans. Gabbard (then known as Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo) served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 2002 to 2004, becoming the youngest woman in the United States to be elected to a state legislature at the time. She returned from a deployment to Iraq in 2006 and worked for U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, then volunteered for another deployment to the Middle East in 2009. After returning to Hawaii, she was elected to the Honolulu City Council, where she served from 2011 to 2012. In 2012, she ran for the open 2nd Congressional District seat and won the primary with 55% of the vote in an upset over former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. She won the general election with 81% of the vote. In the House of Representatives, Gabbard serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees. She is also a military police officer with the Hawaii Army National Guard.