HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - 19 days before the primary election, Congressional District 1 candidates participated in a forum, with one notable exception.
Donna Mercado Kim had to pass due to a conflict with a scheduled commercial shoot.
Seven candidates for the seat worked the room at the Honolulu Board of Realtors forum with limited time to sell themselves.
Kathryn Xian said, "I continue to fight for the rights of the poor, oppressed, homeless."
The crowded field only squeezed in five questions related to the high cost of living.
Stanley Chang said, "Highest cost of living, one of lowest rates of home ownership in the country and I feel the American dream is slipping away."
Chang proposes a renters' tax credit to help save for a down payment.
Mark Takai also supports savings programs, saying "Home ownership savings program at federal level. It will allow after tax dollars to go into savings program and interest will be earned."
Ikaika Anderson said, "If elected to Congress, I would continue to strongly support the mortgage interest deduction the way the program is now."
Anderson suggested a program similar to 401-k savings.
Joey Manahan and Will Espero touted key areas to grow our economy.
Manahan said, "The way our state is going to move forward is through modernization of our harbors, airports, and our military."
Espero said, "I believe growth and development in the next 10-20 years are going to be the key issues impacting us."
Sandwiched between six Democrats, Republican Charles Djou stressed the importance of sending one member on Hawaii's small delegation to congress, to work with the majority in the Republican-controlled House.
Djou said, "Of all the candidates up here, I am the only one who will enter in the majority and the only one who will enter with some level of seniority to fight for Hawaii on day one."
Djou made that point three times during the hour long forum.
Hawaii News Now did extended interviews with all of the candidates in this race.
They're posted in our campaign section HERE.