Kahele Receives Key Endorsements for House Seat

November 2, 2019, 7:56 AM HST
* Updated November 2, 7:57 AM
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Sen. Kahele is running for the 2nd Congressional District. PC: Hawai‘i Senate Office.

Sen. Kai Kahele’s bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives has received early formal endorsements from a number of community leaders throughout the state. Kahele is running as a democratic candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd congressional district.

Kahele’s formal supporters include:

  • Sen. Stanley Chang
  • Sen. Kurt Fevella
  • Sen. Dru Kanuha
  • Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole
  • Sen. Clarence Nishihara
  • Sen. Gil Riviere
  • Sen. Maile Shimabukuro
  • Rep. Stacelynn Eli
  • Rep. Cedric Gates
  • Rep. Joy San Buenaventura
  • Rep. Chris Todd
  • Rep. Tina Wildberger
  • Hawai‘i County Councilmember Sue Lee Loy
  • CM Sgt. Robert Lee (Ret.), Hawai’i National Guard
  • Hon. Steven Levinson, retired Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Justice
  • Dr. Amy Agbayani, civil rights activist
  • Dr. Patricia Nekoba, educator
  • Toni Lee, Native Hawaiian community leader
  • Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Native Hawaiian community leader
  • Sivan Leoni, former UH men’s volleyball teammate
  • Rick Tune, former UH men’s volleyball teammate

These community members join former Hawaiʻi Govs. John Waiheʻe, Ben Cayetano and Neil Abercrombie, who serve as honorary co-chairs of the Kahele for Congress Campaign Committee, as well as Honolulu City Council chairman Ikaika Anderson and former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, who have previously announced their formal endorsements of Kahele’s candidacy.

The Kahele for Congress Campaign Committee announced that during the month of October it raised $105,310 in online donations from more than 5,000 donors with an average contribution of $20.86.

“October turned into a banner month for our campaign,” Sen. Kahele said. “I am grateful and humbled to receive the strong support of these key community leaders. They come from every corner of the state and span the entire political spectrum. While they may not agree on every issue, I am proud that they stand united in their support of our grassroots movement and my bid for Congress. Their ongoing commitment to their communities lend to the good work we can do together to move Hawai‘i forward. Thank you all for your endorsements as well as your faith and confidence that I will serve as a true voice for every resident of the 2nd congressional district as their representative in Congress.”


The Kahele for Congress campaign has raised more than half a million dollars since January 21, 2019.


The 2nd Congressional District includes Hawaiʻi Island, Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kaua’i, Niʻihau and the rural parts of Oʻahu, including Waimānalo, Kailua, Kāneʻohe, the North Shore and the Leeward coast.

Kahele currently serves as the Majority Floor Leader and Chairman of the Committee on Water and Land in the Hawaiʻi State 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 Hawaiʻi Air National Guard.

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