Republican nominee Charles Djou discusses campaign priorities in race for Congress

Republican nominee Charles Djou discusses campaign priorities in race for Congress

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The race to represent Hawaii's District 1 in Congress is between two longtime politicians and veterans, Charles Djou and Mark Takai.

We sat down with both candidates for a snapshot of where they stand before our Hawaii News Now debate Sunday at 8 p.m. on KHNL.

Tonight, we go one on one with the Republican nominee, Charles Djou.

Djou lists the budget, debt and economy as priorities in his campaign for Congress, saying "It's jobs. It's certainly reducing the crushing cost of living for the people of Hawaii and also I think a component of that is taking care of the next generation."

Djou adds, "If I'm privileged enough to get elected, the very first bill I'm going to co-sponsor is the balanced budget amendment."

The Republican says the tone in Washington D.C. has gotten worse since his 7 month stint in the U.S. House in 2010.

He cites healthcare reform as an example of policy failure. In Djou's view, "The solution offered in the Affordable Care Act is almost as bad as the problem itself."

Djou served in the State House for one term, and the Honolulu City Council for 8 years.

He's a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months while running for the same seat in 2012. "Perhaps of all the things a Congressman can do, the most serious is to vote to send young Americans into combat" says Djou.

Historically, Democrats have dominated the District 1 Congressional race representing urban Oahu.

Djou makes the case that at least one member of Hawaii's Congressional delegation should be in the majority.

"It's not sending a Republican per se so much as sending an outspoken advocate for Hawaii" explains Djou. "Somebody who's going to be ready on day one to hit the ground running. Someone who's going to have a seat at the table with the majority caucus. Of all the candidates running, I'm the one who's going to really upend the status quo of politics in Hawaii and how things operate."

We'll profile the Democratic nominee, Mark Takai tomorrow on Hawaii News Now at 6 p.m. on KGMB.

Join our Hawaii News Now debate Sunday at 8pm on KHNL.

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