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Is Kai Kahele planning to run for governor? He won’t rule it out

Freshman Congressman Kai Kahele says he’s reassessing his political future after hearing from people who want him to run for governor.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 3:03 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 4:21 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Freshman Congressman Kai Kahele says he’s reassessing his political future after hearing from people who want him to run for governor.

Kahele has recently been critical of Gov. David Ige’s response to COVID and the Red Hill water crisis ― and sought to offer plans of his own.

In an interview with Hawaii News Now this week, Kahele would not rule out a run for governor.

When asked if he plans to join the race, he replied:

“I’m focused on listening to my constituents. I’m here in the district working really hard for them. As I travel throughout the state, I consistently hear from my constituents that they are not happy with the direction that the state is headed in and they are having a difficult time with any of the current candidates that are running for governor.”

He added, “I’m committed to serving my second year in Congress and doing the best job I can. I’ll reassess what my political future looks like.”

If Kahele runs for the seat, he’d be joining what is shaping up to be a crowded field of candidates that includes Lt. Gov. Josh Green, former first lady Vicky Cayetano, and former Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

On the Republican side, possible candidates include developer Peter Savio, UFC legend BJ Penn and Big Island business consultant Paul Morgan.

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