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Zipporah Hazelelponi
Zipporah Hazelelponi

United States Senator from the State of Florida
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2015

Born September 20, 1980
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Birth name Zipporah Hazelelponi
Nationality Israeli-American
Height 5 ft. 5 in.
Weight 136 lbs.
Political party Independent (No Caucus)
Residence Jacksonville, Florida
Education Fuller Theological Seminary (Th.D)
Profession Minister, Philanthropist, Politician
Religion Messianic Judaism
Zippporah Bat-Ami Hazelelponi (born September 20, 1980) is an Israeli-American minister, philanthropist, and politician, currently serving as the Junior Senator for the State of Florida, and one of the Senate's two Independent members.

Birth, and Life in Israel Edit

Hazelelponi was born on September 20, 1980 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hazelelponi's parents were both Haredi Jews, staying in a kosher hotel in the city while travelling overseas. Though Hazelelponi's mother was not expected to give birth until November, the rigors of the day brought on an early labor, and Hazelelponi was delivered by her father in the hotel room.

Her parents returning to Israel before the week was over, Hazelelponi was raised in the Middle Eastern state, raised in the same faith as her parents, and pious in it.

When she was sixteen, however, she heard by chance the preaching of a Messianic minister, and would slip away from her house when she had the opportunity. Converting, she revealed the change to her parents, and expressed a desire to her parents to attend university in the United States. Their reaction was swift-her father disowned her, and barred her from the house, leaving her homeless on the streets.

Hazelelponi lacked a home for the next year, spending much of it in the Palestinian Territories, working odd jobs or accepting charity, attempting to scrape together enough money for a plane ticket to the United States.

On turning eighteen, Hazelelponi was conscripted into the Israeli Defense Forces, and spent the next two years fulfilling her mandatory time of service. When finally discharged, she bought the saved-for ticket to the United States, leaving Israel.

Education and Military Service Edit

Hazelelponi touched down at O'Hare airport in Chicago, reentering the United States for the first time since her birth, and travelled to Ohio. Taking residence in an apartment in Dayton, she completed her GED, and enlisted in the United States Air National Guard, while applying to attend the nearby Cedarville University. Accepted, she joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps for the Air Force at the university, surviving tuition off of the government's dime, while serving in the Guard, missing some schooling during periods in which she was called into active service. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Biblical Studies and a Masters of Divinity, becoming a mustang, going from her rank of Senior Airman to formally commissioning as a Second Lieutenant, seeking to become a Chaplain in the service.

Hazelelponi would continue her education while serving, attending Fuller Theological Seminary and receiving her Doctorate of Theology. Hazelelponi would eventually be transferred to Eglin AFB in Florida, and would finish her military service there, receiving an honorable discharge with the rank of Major.

Ministry and Election Edit

Hazelelponi moved to Jacksonville soon after leaving the Air Force, where she would establish a mission in one of the city's poorer areas. The mission would serve as much as a homeless shelter and charity as an evangelical institution, and was formed into a broader religious group, connecting charitable organizations and faith-bases institutions throughout the Jacksonville area, growing in size and scope.

The announced retirement of the state's senior Senator in 2014 spurred on Hazelelponi's first attempt at public office, spurred on by the urging of Hazelelponi's friends and acquaintances. The Independent bid for Senate was considered a long shot, but a particularly disliked set of candidates from each of the two major parties, a business Democrat with questionable fiscal connections, and a Republican fairly controversial for his socially liberal positions created an unexpected opportunity. Hazelelponi staked out a position more socially conservative than her Republican opponent, and more fiscally liberal than her Democratic opponent, becoming a viable candidate, but proved unable to pull ahead. On election day, Hazelelponi received only 31.8% of the vote, but with strong Libertarian and Green party campaigns, the amount proved barely enough for a plurality victory, much of her support coming from the Jacksonville area in an unexpected, and potentially fluke, victory.

United States Senate Edit

Hazelelponi, an Independent, shuffled between affiliations in her first year in the Senate, caucusing alternatively between Republicans and Democrats before settling into the Democratic caucus fairly permanently in early 2016. Hazelelponi introduced her first major piece of legislation that year, the Disaster Preparedness Act, intended to provide funding and resources to FEMA prior to the expected landfall of Hurricane Bonnie. The bill passed both chambers of Congress, but was pocket-vetoed by President Winston.

Hazelelponi notably engaged in a verbal fight with Senator Matteos Egazarian over the topic of the "War on ISIS" resolution, criticizing him for considering working with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, accusing him of "negotiating with terrorists."

After the Democratic National Convention and the selection of Governor Robert Danders for the Democratic nomination, Hazelelponi announced she was suspending her caucus with the Democratic Party.

Hazelelponi would be one of the few Senators to vote against the "Taylor Force Act." in its passage in the Senate, opposing an amendment to the bill.

Hazelelponi was twice injured in late 2016, breaking her arm, several ribs, and her collarbone when run down by a crowd, alongside a concussion, at a Black Friday event hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Taylor Cox. Hazelelponi was shot in the left arm in an attempted attack on the Hawaii Charity Marathon.

After the controversial pardoning of Edmund Rainden, Hazelelponi, along with Republican Representative Blake White Jr. of Illinois introduced a Constitutional Amendment to require a Presidential pardon to be confirmed by the Senate.

Hazelelponi would become involved in several public disputes relating to the foreign policy situation between Israel and Palestine and debate over anti-Semitism. Hazelelponi would condemn controversial Mayor of Trenton Joh Stansky for his restructuring of the flags at Trenton City Hall, posting a Palestinian flag and lowering the American flag to fly to its left, even with its height, leading a wave of tripartisan criticism. Hazelelponi would further criticize Stansky for alleged anti-Semitism after Stansky "harass[ed]" Massachusetts Representative Kristen Stevenson over her discovery of Jewish ancestry. Hazelelponi would also criticize the proposal of Massachusetts Representative Jason Samara to relocate 100,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank as part of a peace arrangement.

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