LIHUE — Angela Ka‘aihue is a candidate for U.S. District 2, which covers rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands.
She’s a Republican and a Christian and isn’t shy about stating her views about faith. In fact, it’s the cornerstone of her campaign.
“America was founded on Christianity,” she said. “I think Hawaii is losing its Christian foothold. That’s what inspired me and motivated me to run.”
The Wahiawa resident visited Kauai last week and stopped at The Garden Island office. She’s facing Eric Hafner, a 25-year-old ordained minister from the Big Island, in the primary on Aug. 13. Other District 2 candidates in the primary are Democrats, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Shay Chan Hodges, and nonpartisan candidate Richard Turner.
Ka‘aihue, a former teacher, is a University of Hawaii graduate and a real estate developer. Her first foray into politics was also influenced by a still-ongoing legal dispute involving use of her Oahu property with the homeowner’s association.
“I had to learn to play politics,” she said. “I have to fight for my land.”
If elected, she said her platform will focus on solving homelessness, expanding the country’s armed forces, advancing a plan for Hawaiian sovereignty, providing better educational opportunities, supporting cultural diversity and protecting the environment.
Ka‘aihue believes that Hawaii, the country, even Congress, is losing its Christian values.
“To me, that’s wrong,” she said. “I want to convince voters we need Christianity back in Hawaii.”
She said that in 2014, 173,000 of the 180,000 Hawaii voters voted for non-Christians.
She wants to bring Christianity back into politics and doesn’t apologize for it. She will be a “Christian politician who understands Christian values morals and beliefs.”
In a blog on her website, she wrote, “This website is designed for conservative, Bible-believing Christians who believe their choices in the voting booth on Aug. 13 should conform to biblical principles.”
With a strong faith in God, she said, “everything else falls into place.”
“What we do as parents is for our children,” said Ka‘aihue, who was born in Austin, Texas, but has lived in Hawaii almost all her life.
Ka‘aihue, who declined to give her age, said her background in engineering will help with her goal to make Hawaii as energy efficient as possible. The state needs to focus more on hydropower, she said, and increase use of renewable energy.
She hopes to earn a Ph.D. in civil engineering.
Should she win the primary, she would most likely face Gabbard in the general election, where the incumbent would be a heavy favorite.
Ka‘aihue remains steadfast in her course, despite long odds. She plans to continue campaigning, visiting the islands and sharing her faith.
“I’m going to give it my best shot,” she said. “I want to do something good for Hawaii.”