HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is endorsing Kai Kahele for Congress.
Kahele’s campaign made the announcement on Tuesday.
In the statement, Biden said, “When the state of Hawaii activated Hawaii National Guard units to assist with the state’s COVID-19 relief efforts, Kai volunteered to serve."
"Whether it is joining COVID-19 response missions or leading a grassroots movement to stop Hawaii Island’s spread of dengue fever in his hometown of Milolii in 2015, Kai provides leadership when it is needed most.”
Biden served as vice president under former President Barack Obama, who also recently endorsed Kahele.
Kahele is running against Republican Joe Akana and others to replace U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, which represents the Neighbor Islands and most of suburban and rural Oahu.
Gabbard is not running for reelection after her presidential run — and her political future remains unclear.
Honolulu Civil Beat spoke to analysts, who say it doesn’t appear that she’s interested in running for local office anytime soon, especially after she transferred out of the Hawaii National Guard to a new role in California as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Experts say moving to the reserves could give Gabbard more opportunities to advance her military career. Others say she may be trying to build up her armed services experience to boost her profile if she decides to return to politics later.