Mormons’ Mitt falls short, but Hindus and Buddhists score political firsts

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Published: November 7, 2012 01:28PM
Updated: November 7, 2012 01:28PM

While Mormons mourn the failure of Mitt Romney to become the first Latter-day Saint in the White House, others are celebrating their own religious firsts.

Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono will become the first Buddhist and the first Asian-American woman in the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, Tulsi Gabbard, who won her congressional race in Hawaii, will be the first Hindu to join the U.S. House.

Gabbard is a Democrat and “a practicing Hindu of the Vaishnava tradition,” according to a release from the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), and “campaigned on her experience as a former Honolulu city councilwoman and Iraq war veteran.”

“That Gabbard won while proudly espousing her Hinduism and voicing a willingness to be a strong voice for Hindu Americans,” Aseem Shukla, foundation co-founder and board member, said in a news release, “brings over 2 million Americans into the political landscape for the first time.”

Gabbard will replace Hirono in the House.

Peggy Fletcher Stack