Tulsi Gabbard/Kamala Harris: All you need to know

California Senator Kamala Harris and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard

In the United States, the 2020 Democratic primary election is in full swing with a field of 23 Democrats having announced their candidacies for President of The United States of America. The United States has 2 primary political parties: the incumbent Republican party led by Donald Trump and the opposition Democratic party.

Politicians from each party announce their intention to run for president and begin raising campaign funds and participating in national debates. Each party nominates its candidate for president through the primary elections.

According to May 2019 polls, the front-runners are former Obama Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and California Senator Kamala Harris.

California Senator Kamala Harris and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard are extremely popular within the Indian diaspora in the US.

Here are 10 things you need to know about them:

Kamala Harris

  1. Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California, in October 1964, to Indian mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris and Jamaican father Donald Harris.

  2. Harris’ mother, Shymala, was a prominent breast cancer researcher; her sister, Maya, is a lawyer who worked as a senior policy adviser for Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential campaign.

  3. Harris grew up in Berkeley, California, where she attended both a Hindu temple and a Baptist church. At age 12, following her parents’ divorce, Harris moved to Montreal with her mother.

  4. As a child, Harris travelled to India every 2 years with her mother and sister.

  5. Kamala Harris identifies as both African-American and Indian-American.

  6. Harris studied Politics and Economics at Howard University, Washington D.C., and received her law degree from The University of California, Hastings College of Law, San Francisco.

  7. In 1998, Harris began a fruitful career as a deputy district attorney in Alameda, California, that saw her meteoric rise to become California’s first woman, first African-American, and first Indian-American Attorney General, not 12 years later.

  8. Kamala Harris worked for Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in the 80’s and volunteered with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.

  9. Harris’ favorite Indian foods are korma and chicken masala.

  10. Harris ran for Senate in 2016, becoming the first Indian-American to serve in The United States Senate. In her 3 years in Senate, Harris has pushed progressive reforms on healthcare, marijuana legalization, and immigration.

  11. Harris has proven to be a fundraising powerhouse, raising $1.5 million within 24 hours of announcing her presidential bid.

Tulsi Gabbard

  1. Tulsi Gabbard was born in American Samoa to a Samoan father and a white mother.

  2. Gabbard is a practicing Hindu, having been raised in the Hindu faith.

  3. Every morning, Gabbard remembers her relationship with god through “the practice of yoga meditation and reading verses from the Bhagavad-Gita.”

  4. At 21, Gabbard became the youngest person ever to be elected to the Hawaiian state legislature.

  5. Gabbard served in a medical field unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  6. Gabbard was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, becoming the first Hindu member of Congress.

  7. In 2017, Gabbard met with President Bashar al-Assad during a trip to Syria and Lebanon, stirring up controversy.

  8. Gabbard has repeatedly praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and is a staunch proponent of a strong Indo-US relationship.

  9. Due to her conservative upbringing, Gabbard opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions, changing her position only in 2012.

  10. In the 2016 election, Gabbard endorsed Bernie Sanders.

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