Mike Gabbard

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Mike Gabbard
Member of the Hawaii Senate
from the 20th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
2006
Personal details
Born Gerald Michael Gabbard
(1948-01-15) January 15, 1948 (age 66)
Fagatogo, American Samoa
Political party Democrat (2007–present), Republican (1970–2007)
Spouse(s) Carol
Profession Hawaii State Senator
Religion Roman Catholic[1]

Gerald Michael "Mike" Gabbard (born January 15, 1948) is a Democratic member of the Hawaii Senate, representing the 19th District since 2006. He has social conservative political views and rose to prominence for his successful effort to pass an amendment to the Constitution of Hawaii in 1998 to give the state legislature "the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples".[citation needed] He is also a businessman and musician.

Gabbard, who was born in American Samoa, is the first person of Samoan descent to serve in the Hawaii Senate.[2]

Life and pre-political career[edit]

Mike was the fourth of seven children born to Benjamin Harrison Gabbard, Jr. and Agnes Yandall Gabbard. He graduated from Choctawhatchee High School class of 1965 in Shalimar, Florida. He received his BA degree in English from Sonoma State University, and his master's degree in Adult Education with an emphasis in Community College Administration from Oregon State University.[citation needed] He and his wife Carol, who served from 2000 to 2004 on the Hawai’i State Board of Education, are the parents of five children and grandparents of six. They operate a small family business with several lines of natural health products. They also make and distribute Hawaiian Toffee Treasures.[citation needed]

In 1995, Mike Gabbard co-founded the nonprofit Stop Promoting Homosexuality America,[3] which filed for the trade name Alliance For Traditional Marriage, "to educate the general public about the necessity of preserving traditional marriage".[4] Gabbard served as president[5] until the organization's involuntary dissolution in 2004.[6]

Political career and related activities[edit]

Gabbard was elected to the Honolulu City Council in a nonpartisan race in 2002. In 2004, he ran unsuccessfully in a race as a Republican for the Second Congressional District of Hawaii in the United States House of Representatives.

On March 21, 2006, Gabbard announced his plans to run for the Hawaii State Senate in West Oahu’s District #19, a seat then held by 14-year incumbent Senator Brian Kanno. Kanno then decided not to run for reelection.[7] On November 7, 2006, Gabbard defeated retired Honolulu police captain George Yamamoto by a 56% to 44% margin to represent the district in the Hawaii State Senate. Gabbard was sworn in on January 17, 2007.[8]

Mike is the co-founder/chairman of Stand Up For America (SUFA), a non-profit educational organization that promotes patriotism and aims to "increase our awareness of our identity as citizens of one nation under God."[9] SUFA maintained public Christmas lights displays in 2004[10] and in 2006[11] that specifically celebrated the Christian origins of Christmas, "as a reminder of what the Christmas season is really all about."[10] The Stand Up For America site came under criticism in September 2010 for promoting Gabbard's daughter's campaign for the Honolulu City Council, and immediately removed the problematic page and link.[12]

Mike founded and is also the co-chairman of Healthy Hawai'i Coalition (HHC), a non-profit group whose twofold purpose is to protect the environment and to improve individual and community health. HHC has been very active in schools across the state of Hawai'i teaching watershed protection. In 2007, he co-founded the Aloha Parenting Project (APP) with his wife Carol. APP is a grassroots non-profit organization that educates, supports, and helps parents raise children to become responsible, productive members of our community.[citation needed] SUFA hosted John Rosemond at an APP event on November 6, 2007.[13]

On August 30, 2007, Gabbard switched from the Republican Party of Hawaii to the Democratic Party of Hawaii. His stated reason for doing so was that he believed that he could be more effective to his constituents as part of the majority party in the State Senate, where Democrats have long had a supermajority.[14] This switch in parties has been of some controversy, including repeated complaints regarding his opposition to the Democratic Party of Hawai'i's platform, and possible actions that may impact other Democrats.

On November 2, 2010, Gabbard was re-elected for a second term in the Hawai’i State Senate after defeating Republican Aaron Bonar by a 74% to 26% margin.[citation needed] He is currently the Chair of the Energy & Environment Committee. He’s also a member of the Judiciary & Labor, Transportation & International Affairs, and Education committees.[citation needed]

As of June 2011, Gabbard was still against same-sex marriage and civil unions.[15]

Mike and Carol's eldest daughter, Tulsi Gabbard, is a Democrat and the Representative for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district.[16]

On November 6, 2012, Gabbard defeated Republican candidate, Dean Capelouto, to represent the newly reapportioned district, Hawaii State Senate District 20, by a margin of 72% to 28%.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bolante, Ronna (August 2004). "Who is Mike Gabbard?". Honolulu Magazine. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Sorensen, Sam (2008). "The Samoan Historical Calendar 1606-2008". Office of the Governor American Samoa Government. p. 272. Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ State of Hawai'i Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (1995). "STOP PROMOTING HOMOSEXUALITY AMERICA*: DOMESTIC NONPROFIT CORPORATION: General info". Business Registration Division Online Services. Retrieved 19 November 2012. "Purpose: A nonprofit corporation to stop promotion of homosexuality" 
  4. ^ State of Hawai'i Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (1995). "ALLIANCE FOR TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE: TRADE NAME: General info". Business Registration Division Online Services. Retrieved 19 November 2012. "Purpose: To educate the general public about the necessity of preserving traditional marriage" 
  5. ^ State of Hawai'i Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (1995). "STOP PROMOTING HOMOSEXUALITY AMERICA*: DOMESTIC NONPROFIT CORPORATION: Officers". Business Registration Division Online Services. Retrieved 19 November 2012. "Gabbard, Mike - President/Director" 
  6. ^ State of Hawai'i Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (1995). "STOP PROMOTING HOMOSEXUALITY AMERICA*: DOMESTIC NONPROFIT CORPORATION: Other filings". Business Registration Division Online Services. Retrieved 19 November 2012. "Sep 24, 2004 -- Involuntary Dissolution" 
  7. ^ DePledge, Derrick (5 May 2006). "Kanno won't seek re-election to Senate". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Gabbard Takes The Oath Of Office At Hawaii State Senate". Press Releases. MikeGabbard.com. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "SUFA Christmas Display 2004". Stand Up For America. Retrieved 11 November 2012. "SUFA included a picture of Jesus surrounded by children and a “Happy Birthday Lord Jesus” message as a reminder of what the Christmas season is really all about." 
  11. ^ "Home". Stand Up For America. Retrieved 19 November 2012. "one nation under God / Happy Birthday Lord Jesus" (in photo).... SUFA's Hawaii Christmas Lights Display 2006 .... For the fourth year, SUFA’s Christmas display has been at the Honolulu City Hall (Honolulu Hale) grounds for the annual Honolulu City Lights event." 
  12. ^ Essoyan, Susan (5 September 2010). "Rivals protest endorsement of Tamayo by her nonprofit". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Senator Gabbard Hosts Nationally-Recognized Parenting Expert in Kapolei". Articles. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Au, Laurie (August 31, 2007), "Signing ceremony turns Gabbard into Democrat", Honolulu Star-Bulletin, retrieved 2009-04-28 
  15. ^ Rick Hamada (24 June 2011). "5 Questions with NEWSmaker Senator Mike Gabbard". HawaiiReporter. YouTube. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Tulsi Gabbard wins seat in Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District". Pacific Business News. November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 

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