Hawaii to elect new US rep after Kahele’s departure

Nov 8, 2022, 8:00 AM | Updated: 9:02 am
FILE - U.S. Representative Ed Case speaks at a at a town hall meeting at Moanalua High School Monda...

FILE - U.S. Representative Ed Case speaks at a at a town hall meeting at Moanalua High School Monday, June 20, 2022 in Honolulu. Case is running for reelection to Hawaii's 1st Congressional District in the Nov. 8, 2022 election. (George F. Lee/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP, File)

(George F. Lee/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP, File)

HONOLULU (AP) — Voters in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District will elect a new U.S. representative Tuesday after the incumbent, U.S. Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele, decided not to seek re-election.

Republican Joe Akana and Democrat Jill Tokuda are facing off in the district covering rural Oahu and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands.

In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Case is asking voters to send him back to Washington to represent urban Honolulu for another two-year term. He faces Republican Conrad Kress.

Hawaii has two seats in the U.S. House.

A look at the races:

NEW REPRESENATITIVE

Akana and Tokuda are facing off to represent the district covering rural Oahu and the rest of Hawaiian Islands.

Akana is a businessman and former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst. Tokuda served in the state Senate for 12 years, where she chaired the Ways and Means Committee.

Tokuda is also a small business owner and has served as the external affairs director for the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center on Maui.

She entered the general election overwhelmingly favored to defeat Akana, who unsuccessfully ran for the same seat in 2020. Two years ago, Akana won 28.4% of of the vote versus Kahele’s 57.9%.

Kahele served one term in Congress. The Hilo native decided to run for governor instead of returning to Washington, but in August he lost to Lt. Gov. Josh Green in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

NAVY SEAL CHALLENGES INCUMBENT

In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Case is asking voters to send him back to Washington to represent urban Honolulu for another two-year term.

Kress, a Republican and a former Navy SEAL, is challenging him.

Case is on his second stint as a congressperson. He initially served from 2002-2007 representing the 2nd Congressional District before he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate. He was first elected to serve Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in 2019.

Case is co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, an official caucus in the U.S. House for 19 fiscally conservative Democrats. Its website says it’s “dedicated to pursuing fiscally-responsible policies, ensuring a strong national defense for our country, and transcending party lines to get things done for the American people.”

Kress’ website says he favors cutting taxes and frivolous spending. He vowed to push for changes to college loans, saying the status quo favors lenders and colleges and not students.

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Hawaii to elect new US rep after Kahele’s departure