HONOLULU — Hawaii State Rep. Kaniela Saito Ing of Maui announced on Nov. 6 that he is running for U.S. House of Representatives to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.
Ing, a Democrat, is the first candidate to officially announce his campaign since Hanabusa announced in September her plans to challenge fellow Democrat Gov. David Ige in next year’s election.
Ing, 28, has served for six years in the Hawaii state legislature and has been vocal on issues surrounding the Native Hawaiian community, LGBT and women’s rights and criminal justice reform.
In making the announcement, Ing said:
“Standing up to Trump is important, but it’s not enough. Leaders must stand up to big-money corruption everywhere and offer a positive vision to win the world we want to see. Hawaii’s cost of living is out of control and local families are being squeezed out of their neighborhoods by outside investors. People tell me that they feel like the system is leaving them behind. We can’t keep letting the same establishment elites handpick our leaders and expect things to change. We need a new way forward for our children to have a shot at success.
“I am running a grassroots campaign to put people before profits, keep Hawaii Hawaii, and offer a new generation of progressive leadership. I am uniquely positioned with decades ahead of me to build the seniority and influence Hawaii needs. My decision to run for this open seat is based on where I can make the greatest impact for the state I love and to carry our progressive values as far as possible.
“Patsy Mink, Tulsi Gabbard, and Colleen Hanabusa all represented areas outside of their districts when they ran for Congress. But they made the case to Hawaii residents that they were best fit for the job. I will work to earn the trust of each voter the same way they did, by listening to their needs and connecting through our shared island values one person at a time.”