Meet the Candidate: Kai Kahele (Hawai’i)

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6 mins read

Candidate Name: Kai Kahele

Photo provided by the campaign.

What office are you running for?
U.S. House of Representative, Hawai’i 2nd Congressional District

With which party are you running for office?
Democratic Party

Election Date
August 8, 2020 (Hawai’i Primaries)

Why are you running for office? 

From https://www.kaikahele.com/why/:

Three years ago my life changed forever. On January 18th, 2016, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I found my dad having a major heart attack. For the next nine days, my dad fought valiantly for his life. On January 26, 2016, he lost the battle and passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at Queen’s Hospital on the island of Oʻahu.

Laying in the hospital knowing his time was near, my dad, the late State Senator Gil Kahele, urged me to carry on his work in public service. He knew there was work left undone. My dad dreamed of a truly great Hawai‘i, one where justice and prosperity are enjoyed equally by all. This was the humble dream of this gentle Hawaiian man from Miloliʻi. He knew that an even better Hawai‘i remained ahead for future generations.

Those who knew him called him the “consummate statesman.” He passionately believed in bringing people together. He fearlessly worked to elevate his community. He courageously governed knowing that people of every race, religion, gender identity, nationality, or sexual orientation deserved compassion, equality, and freedom.

It was in this setting of love, justice, and service that I was raised. It is one of the greatest privileges and blessings of my life to be the son of Gil Kahele.

As a child, my first Washington D.C. visit was to meet my dad’s friend, the late Senator Daniel K. Akaka. Public servants like my dad, Senator Akaka, and Senator Inouye came from a generation of veterans who believed in the American dream. They understood that if people commit to something greater than themselves, the dream never dies.

This is no time for building walls. This is a time to continue to build hope, to build dreams, to build unity. We need a strong economy where all people can enjoy a living wage. We will provide compassionate social services for every person in need. We must lift our future generations and encourage them to be better than us. We do this by providing outstanding public education. We ensure that all Americans have quality and affordable health care. We protect future generations by not turning a blind eye to the dangers of climate change, global warming, and natural disasters. We must govern with knowledge and courage.

As a father of three daughters, I know there is no greater obligation of every generation than this: we must leave this planet to our children in better condition than we received it.

From Afghanistan to Hilo Bay, I have traveled the world many times over and can say with great confidence that there is no greater country than the United States. Washington D.C. may be struggling to demonstrate that greatness now, but the enduring might of freedom cannot be denied for long.

What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?

Please see: https://www.kaikahele.com/priorities/.

How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
Senator Kahele feels it’s important for Hawaii to have someone of Native Hawaiian ancestry representing the state in the halls of Congress, noting that the last person to do so was the late U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka.

Having a strong voice in Washington is even more critical because Hawaii’s delegation is small.

“We’re four out of 535 members, who are 5,000 miles away from Washington, D.C.,” he said.

“We need a representative who’s committed to the district, who wants to be there, who shows up, who puts in the time and effort, and who comes home to one of the most complex districts in the country, one that spans eight Hawaiian islands.”

Who is your hero?
Kai’s hero is his father, the late Senator Gilbert Kahele.

What are your hobbies?
Kai loves Volleyball, flying airplanes.

What is the most recent book you read?
Kai raves about Michelle Obama’s book

Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
Kai has 3 daughters: Alea, Namaka, Iolana

How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
Sign up at KaiKahele.com.

Candidate Social Media:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.


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DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks, but are sustained solely on donations from grassroots supporters. Because our revenue isn’t click-driven, we don’t take in any direct revenue from the creative contributions of grassroots activists who post on the site. This sets us apart from other media sites. And we’re proud of that.

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