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U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele announces bid for Hawaii governor

May 9, 2022 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele announced over the weekend that he will run for Hawaii governor in the upcoming Democratic Primary.

Kahele, who currently represents Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, told supporters on Saturday in his Big Island hometown of Hilo that he would run for governor, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Kahele said he was concerned that other candidates could be “owned and controlled by big money” and that “wealthy donors from the mainland” want to control the state’s economics.

He said he would not accept donations above $100 or take money from corporations, unions or political action committees.

Kahele will face Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green and former Hawaii first lady Vicky Cayetano in the Aug. 13 election. Former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell dropped out from the race last week.

Kahele is a Native Hawaiian who served as a pilot in the U.S. military. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Air National Guard and also flies commercial routes for Hawaiian Airlines.