By Wendy Osher
Congressional candidate Tulsi Gabbard filed nomination papers today for the 2nd District that includes Maui. Gabbard, who currently serves as a member of the Honolulu City Council, made her candidacy official by filing papers at the Office of Elections.
In addition to her service with the Council, Gabbard is also a veteran of two Middle East deployments with the Hawai’i National Guard.
Today, she was joined by supporters, pledging to “help move Hawai’i past politics as usual and bring fresh leadership to Congress,” that she said would help to create jobs, protect Medicare and Social Security, and create opportunities for Hawaii’s middle class families.
“I am humbled by the support and the momentum our campaign continues to gain every single day,” said Gabbard.
“People are tired of the gridlock and politics as usual. Our campaign is surging because they know that they can trust me to work hard for them, to rebuild and strengthen our economy, help people get good jobs, and protect Hawaii’s middle class families. Getting our financial house in order will also help us protect Medicare and Social Security, so we can care for our families and kupuna. That’s why I’m running for Congress,” she said.
Kaneohe resident Sam Makainai, who was among the supporters on hand today said, “I am so excited to see one of our bright young leaders here in Hawai’i stepping up to provide the fresh leadership we need. It’s important that we elect someone young enough like Tulsi to build seniority and thus power in Congress. People forget that Sen. Inouye was first elected to Congress at age 34, and Patsy Mink was also elected to Congress when she was in her thirties.”
Gabbard’s campaign manager Max Glass expressed differences between Gabbard and other candidates saying, “There’s a clear difference between Tulsi and Mayor Hannemann in this campaign. Tulsi brings fresh leadership to Congress. If you’re ready to start getting things done for Hawaii’s middle class families, Tulsi is the way to go. Mayor Hannemann, on the other hand, represents politics as usual,” he said.
In April, Gabbard garnered the endorsement of the Sierra Club who is backing Gabbard in the August 11 primary.
Upon learning of the endorsement, Gabbard said her chief environmental priorities would include: Making Hawai’i the nation’s leading producer of renewable energy; Creating a sustainable economy with less dependency on foreign oil and imports; Requiring the proper labeling of all GMO products; Securing funding for tropical agriculture research; Modernizing water irrigation systems; and supporting Hawai’i’s farmers with “Made in/Grown in Hawai’i” labeling.
Gabbard (D) is seeking the seat being vacated by US Representative Mazie Hirono, who is running for US Senator Daniel Akaka’s seat in 2012.
Other key contenders in the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat are former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (D), and Esther Kiaaina, (D) from Kapolei.
As of Thursday, May 17, two lesser known candidates on O’ahu also had filed papers for the race. They are Republican candidate Matthew DiGeronimo of Honolulu and Democrat Miles Shiratori of Kaneohe.
Others who have pulled papers so far include Patric Brock (L) of Kihei, David Crowley (R) of Hilo, Rafael Del Castillo (D) of Honolulu,Robert Marx (D) of Hilo, and Mark Terry (R) of Wahiawa.