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Following Faith
Peggy Fletcher Stack
Peggy Fletcher Stack has been producing stories for The Salt Lake Tribune's award-winning Faith section for nearly two decades. Writing about contemporary faith, rituals, and spirituality as well as religion's conflicts and cohesion has always been Stack's passion. Follow her at facebook.com/peggy.fletcherstack, Twitter @religiongal

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

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.

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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

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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