HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former state lawmaker Andria Tupola is running for City Council, but her sights are set on a higher office.
On Monday, she filed papers for the City Council district that represents Leeward Oahu. She says Kymberly Pine, who’s leaving the seat to run for mayor, encouraged her to run.
In 2018, Tupola lost in her Republican challenge to Gov. David Ige.
And on Monday, she said she still has her eye on the governor’s seat.
“Oh definitely if the state of Hawaii would have me be their governor," she said.
“I do think we are in dire need of good leaders. We need people who are going to put the people’s interest before money.”
If Tupola wins the council seat and runs for governor in 2022, she would have to leave the council after two years of a four-year term.
Tupola says she’s still a Republican and that she’s running for the non-partisan City Council seat because the opportunity opened up.
"I'm dedicated to my people. I've always been dedicated to serving in my community and everyone knows that," she said.
Tupola runs a non-profit and expects to complete her doctoral degree in music education this year.
She says homelessness, crime and affordable housing are top issues. She served four years in the state House and was minority leader.
HNN’s political analyst Colin Moore says Tupola’s Council run is the right move.
“I think it also makes sense because as she likely realizes it’s incredibly hard to be elected governor as a Republican in Hawaii, but you do stand a pretty good shot when you run for City Council,” said Moore.
Also pulling papers Monday was comedian Augie Tulba, who is running for the Council seat from Waikele to Ewa Beach. Tulba is proposing a 5% cut in his salary and for his staff.
“Lead by example and hopefully the rest of the members will mirror my actions because I think we all need to take responsibility,” said Tulba.