HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Augie Tulba, aka Augie T., is known for making people laugh.
But the Ewa Beach resident’s possible run for City Council is no laughing matter.
The comedian said he’s exploring a run for Ron Menor’s District 9 seat in 2020.
District 9 runs from Waikele to Ewa Beach. Menor’s term expires so he cannot run for the seat again.
Tulba says he’s been thinking about running for public office for a while.
"If you are looking for someone who's going to run a grassroots campaign. It's right here. I'm going to knock. I'm going to ask because I think the city, the state are ready for new voices," said Tulba.
He says he's filed papers with the campaign spending commission so he can hold a fundraiser next month at the Filcom Center in Waipahu.
His campaign advisers say he'll need to raise $200,000 to be competitive.
Raised in public housing in Kalihi and a Farrington graduate, Tulba has worked for Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Lt. Gov. Shan Tstutsui.
Hawaii News Now asked him why he’s interested in politics.
“That’s the question I’ve been getting the past 3 weeks," he said. “Why not? Honestly, I think a lot of people want to serve and part of the reason they don’t serve is they are worried about criticism. They are worried about harrassment. They are worried how are they going to look in the public eye.”
Tulba says he’s also got the thick skin needed for politics.
HNN's political analyst Colin Moore says he expects Tulba to have a successful campaign because of his name recognition, personal story, fundraising ability and community advocacy.
“I think he’s going to do very well. Entertainers usually do well because they already have a lot of name recognition," he said. “They’re almost always good at talking to folks. They’ve got a good stage presence.”
Tulba says he's not talking about the issues yet because he's going to start walking the district this week and wants to hear from people first.
When will Tulba make an official announcement?
“I’ll get back to you. Am I being a politician already?” said Tulba, with a chuckle.