HONOLULU — State Sen. Kai Kahele, democratic candidate for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District (rural Oahu and the Neighbor Islands), released the following statement regarding U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s decision not to seek re-election to the seat representing that district.
“Since announcing her presidential candidacy in January 2019, Congresswoman Gabbard has worked hard, visiting towns and cities across the United States,” Kahele said.
”This dedication, while worthy of admiration, meant that her congressional district was often left without a voice in Washington, D.C. I wholly respect and appreciate the congresswoman’s decision not to seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives as she pursues the presidency. I thank her for her service, and I wish her and her family the best going forward,” he said.
“I remain fully committed to my campaign to become Hawaii’s next congressman. While our opponent may change, the fundamentals of building our grassroots campaign will not. When I announced my candidacy earlier this year, I pledged that I would take nothing for granted,” he said.
“I am traveling to each island, engaging with every community, and sitting down with our neighbors, friends and ohana to hear directly about their concerns and to see how I may best represent them in Washington, D.C. That’s what I have been focused on for the last 10 months, and that’s what I will continue to do until the primary election next August. I will continue to work hard to earn the faith, confidence and vote of every resident of the 2nd District.”
Kahele serves as majority floor leader and chairman of the Committee on Water and Land in the Senate, where he represents his hometown of Hilo. He is an 18-year combat veteran aviator who was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Hawaii Air National Guard.
Former Hawaii Governors John Waihe‘e, Ben Cayetano and Neil Abercrombie serve as honorary co-chairs of the Kahele for Congress Campaign Committee. Honolulu City Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson formally endorsed Kahele’s candidacy. The Kahele for Congress campaign has raised over half a million dollars since Jan. 21, 2019.