Charles Djou

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Updated May 2017

Former Congressman Charles Djou is one of Hawaii’s most notable Republicans.

A lawyer, he is a former Hawaii Republican Party vice chair and a former state legislator. He served for eight years on the Honolulu City Council.

In 2016 he mounted an unsuccessful bid for Honolulu mayor against incumbent Kirk Caldwell.


The Basics

Charles Djou is a former U.S. congressman and one of Hawaii’s most prominent Republicans.

He is a former Hawaii Republican Party vice chair and a former state legislator. He served for eight years on the Honolulu City Council.

In 2016 he mounted an unsuccessful bid for mayor against incumbent Kirk Caldwell.


Djou was born Aug. 9, 1970, in Los Angeles. He graduated from Punahou School and holds a B.A. in political science and a B.S. in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Djou also has a law degree from the University of Southern California Law School.

Djou has practiced business law, was an adjunct at the William S. Richardson School of Law and is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

In 1998, Djou ran unsuccessfully for the District 47 seat in the Hawaii House of Representatives. He was the vice chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party from 1998 to 1999, and then ran for the House seat again in 2000, this time successfully. He served as minority floor leader.

In 2002 Djou moved from his Windward Oahu district to East Honolulu to run for the Honolulu City Council. He was re-elected in 2006 and limited to two terms.

On the Council, Djou was chairman of the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee and a member of the Public Infrastructure, Budget and Public Services committees.

Djou’s eight years on the Honolulu City Council were distinguished by his opposition to raising taxes, his opposition to the city’s plan to build a rail system, and his efforts to reduce the presence of homeless camps in city parks and beaches.

In May 2010, a special election was held to fill the vacant seat of Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. In a winner-take-all race, Djou beat Colleen Hanabusa and many other candidates.

That special election victory made him only the third Republican from Hawaii to serve in Congress since statehood. But served in Congress for just seven months, as Hanabusa, a Democrat, defeated him in the 2010 general election to serve a full two-year term.

When Djou announced he was running again for the seat in August 2011, he also told of his plans to deploy to Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Reserve soldier for six months beginning in September. He served as a rule of law military adviser to help the Afghan National Police and the Afghan judiciary comply with laws.

He was the 2012 Republican nominee for the 1st District seat, but he again lost to Hanabusa. When Hanabusa ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2014, Djou again sought the same seat but lost to Democrat Mark Takai.

In 2014 he ran against Democratic nominee Mark Takai, who won but later died while still in office.

He then lost to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell in 2016 in a nonpartisan race that centered on the controversial rail project. Caldwell supports its completion, but Djou had been critical of large cost overruns and project delays.

Having lost multiple consecutive elections in a state dominated by Democrats, Djou’s political future is uncertain.

Charles Djou

December 2016

Tuesday, December 13

Caldwell Outspent Djou Nearly 4-To-1 In Honolulu Mayor’s Race

November 2016

Monday, November 14

Reader Rep: Was It Fair To Turn Kirk Caldwell Into A Cardboard Cutout?

Tuesday, November 8

Mayor Kirk Caldwell Re-Elected Over Charles Djou

Friday, November 4

3 Civil Questions For Kirk Caldwell And Charles Djou — Episode 4

Wednesday, November 2

VIDEO: 3 Civil Questions For Caldwell and Djou — Episode 2

Tuesday, November 1

VIDEO: 3 Civil Questions For Kirk Caldwell And Charles Djou

October 2016

Monday, October 31

Caldwell Camp Rejects Djou Debate Scheme As ‘Campaign Stunt’

Thursday, October 27

Caldwell Campaign: We May Have Been Duped With Newspaper Ad

Tuesday, October 25

TV Spots — And One Big Print Ad — Spice Up Mayor’s Race

Friday, October 21

Djou Says Caldwell Lied About Bank Compensation

Thursday, October 20

Honolulu Voters Don’t Love Rail, But They Still Want The Job Done

Wednesday, October 19

Caldwell Up 7 Points Over Djou In Honolulu Mayor’s Race

Friday, October 14

Both Mayoral Candidates Ask: Better Off Than 4 Years Ago?

Wednesday, October 12

Djou, Caldwell Make Pitches To Native Hawaiian Audience

Saturday, October 1

Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Vie For Coveted Kupuna Vote

September 2016

Thursday, September 29

9/11 Becomes Boiling Point In Honolulu Mayoral Debate

Wednesday, September 28

Djou To Skip PBS Honolulu Mayoral Debate With Caldwell

Monday, September 26

Honolulu Misuses Hanauma Bay Funds, Nonprofit Group Claims

Why Is Ron Taketa Still On The Honolulu Police Commission?

Monday, September 5

Djou Rakes In Campaign Cash, Caldwell Spends Heavily

August 2016

Wednesday, August 31

Djou: No Tax Increase For Honolulu Rail — Yet

Saturday, August 13

Caldwell, Djou Headed For Runoff In Honolulu Mayor’s Race

Wednesday, August 10

How Will Honolulu’s Next Mayor Pay To Finish The Rail Project?

Monday, August 8

How Ethics Commission Upheaval Is Playing Out In The Mayor’s Race

Some New Ads In The Mayor’s Race Stretch The Truth

Thursday, August 4

How Kirk Caldwell Blew Through $500K In Just 29 Days

Wednesday, August 3

Djou Holds A 9-Point Lead Over Caldwell In Mayor’s Race

Caldwell’s Inaction On Police Reform Draws Political Attacks

Tuesday, August 2

Ad Watch: Carlisle Says You Can Trust Him To Build Rail Right

Monday, August 1

Djou, Caldwell Lob Ethics Charges

July 2016

Tuesday, July 26

As Caldwell And Djou Sharpen Attacks, Carlisle Goes For Laughs

Friday, July 22

Caldwell Ad ‘Fact-Checks’ Djou on Rail, Homelessness

Thursday, July 14

Djou Raises Nearly $260,000 In First Weeks Of Mayoral Campaign

In Honolulu Mayoral Forum, It’s All About The Rail Project

Djou’s First TV Ad Attacks Mayor Caldwell As Untrustworthy

Sunday, July 10

Mayoral Candidates Raising Cash

Thursday, July 7

Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Trade Barbs Over Canceled Debate

Wednesday, July 6

Honolulu Mayor’s Six-Figure Compensation From Bank Draws Fire

June 2016

Tuesday, June 28

In Latest Campaign Spot, Caldwell Accentuates The Positive

Monday, June 27

5 Labor Groups Backing Djou

Friday, June 24

One More Fundraiser For Caldwell

Thursday, June 16

Djou Challenges Mayor To Call For Return of Honolulu Ethics Director

Wednesday, June 15

Djou Gets Some Democratic Support In Campaign For Mayor

Thursday, June 9

Aiona Endorses Djou For Mayor

Tuesday, June 7

Djou Jumps Into Mayor’s Race; Aiona Opts Not To Run At All

Thursday, June 2

Aiona Looking At 3 Races

May 2016

Tuesday, May 24

Hanabusa To Run For Takai’s Seat In Congress?

Saturday, May 21

Hawaii Republicans Unite Behind Donald Trump, But Not Unanimously

March 2016

Tuesday, March 8

Hawaii Republicans Hand Donald Trump Another Victory

Monday, March 7

Charles Djou: Don’t Vote Trump

November 2014

Tuesday, November 4

Hawaii 1st Congressional District: Takai Defeats Djou

September 2014

Tuesday, September 30

Denby Fawcett: Digging Up Dirt and Opposition Research 101

Tuesday, September 23

Civil Beat Poll: GOP’s Djou Up By 4 Points Over Democrat Takai in CD1

August 2014

Monday, August 25

Chad Blair: Republicans on Parade

Thursday, August 21

Djou vs. Takai: An Early Look at the 1st Congressional District Race

November 2012

Thursday, November 1

Checking the Fact Check: Djou Claim on Small Business Vote is False

October 2012

Monday, October 29

Civil Beat Poll – Hanabusa Expands Lead Over Djou In Race for Congress

Friday, October 26

Djou: Hanabusa Voted Against Small Business Tax Relief

Thursday, October 4

Civil Beat Poll – Dems Lead Congress Races

Monday, October 1

Hanabusa: Djou Voted Against Military Funding

September 2012

Friday, September 28

Djou: I Was Hawaii’s Most Moderate Congressman

Wednesday, September 26

Hanabusa Takes Round One in Djou Rematch

Tuesday, September 25

Djou Plays Dad Card As Campaign Issue

Thursday, September 13

Quiet Rematch For Hawaii’s 1st District Seat

August 2012

Thursday, August 23

May I Speak With the Candidate, Please?

July 2012

Wednesday, July 18

Djou and Hanabusa On The Issues

Charles Djou Answers Congressional District 1 Survey

Hanabusa Raises — and Spends — More Than Djou

May 2012

Friday, May 11

Djou: I Accepted No PAC Money Last Quarter

March 2012

Thursday, March 8

Hawaii Candidates Play Chicken on Disclosing Their Tax Returns

February 2012

Sunday, February 5

Hanabusa, Djou Each Start 2012 With $300K In Bank

December 2011

Wednesday, December 28

Big Changes in Store for Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation

November 2011

Sunday, November 20

Capitol Watch: Nov. 21

October 2011

Wednesday, October 19

Capitol Watch: Oct. 19

Monday, October 17

Business Execs, PACs Boost Hanabusa Campaign

Hanabusa Nearly Doubles Djou in Fundraising

September 2011

Friday, September 9

Capitol Watch: Sept. 9

August 2011

Tuesday, August 30

Djou: ‘It’s Difficult to Explain War to a Preschooler’

Wednesday, August 24

No Senate Run for Hanabusa

Monday, August 22

Djou: I’m Less Partisan Than Hanabusa

Sunday, August 21

Djou: Hawaii Reps ‘Vote Lockstep’ With Democrats

Wednesday, August 17

Djou Off to Afghanistan — and Running for Congress

Capitol Watch: Aug. 17

Thursday, August 4

Ko Olina Home In or Out of Hanabusa’s District?

April 2011

Monday, April 25

Capitol Watch: April 26

March 2011

Thursday, March 3

Akaka Retirement Triggers Political Free-For-All

February 2011

Sunday, February 6

Capitol Watch: Feb. 7

December 2010

Tuesday, December 14

Djou: Micronesians Consume 20 Percent of Social Service Resources

November 2010

Wednesday, November 3

Hanabusa Captured Case Voters to Win 1st Congressional District

Election Night 2010 at GOP Headquarters — A Slideshow by Luci Pemoni

Monday, November 1

Hanabusa Takes Back Hawaii’s First Congressional District for Democrats

October 2010

Sunday, October 31

The Last Word: Charles Djou on Why Voters Should Send Him Back to Congress

Friday, October 29

Djou: 250K Spent on Attack Ads Against Hanabusa, Million Plus Against Me

Thursday, October 28

Mainland Money, Attack Ads Pouring Into 1st District

Wednesday, October 27

Civil Beat Poll: Hanabusa Has Edge in 1st Congressional District

Tuesday, October 26

Djou: I Vote With Democrats 62 Percent of the Time

Sunday, October 24

Djou and Hanabusa on Federal Laws that Need to be Changed

Djou: We Need a New Way of Doing Things in Washington

Friday, October 22

Djou meets Hanabusa in Civil Beat/KHVH Open Mic

Wednesday, October 20

Photo of Hanabusa Makes Djou Look Bad

Tuesday, October 19

Djou, Hanabusa Break the $2M Mark

Monday, October 18

Professional Roots: Djou and Hanabusa

Djou: ‘I Am Not a Member of the Tea Party’

Friday, October 15

Around the Kitchen Table with Neil, Duke, Charles and Colleen

Thursday, October 14

Civil Beat Poll: Hanabusa on Top in 1st Congressional District

Wednesday, October 13

Djou: Democrats Are Pushing Largest Tax Increase in History

Monday, October 11

Professional Roots: Leasing Cell Towers Taught Djou About Business

Wednesday, October 6

The Truth About Djou and Schools

The Truth About Hanabusa and Government Waste

September 2010

Friday, September 24

Can’t Miss Comments, Sept. 25 – Just The Fact Checks Ma’am

Wednesday, September 22

1st Congressional Race Has National Implications

Tuesday, September 21

Djou: “I Have Never Voted For a Tax Increase”

Friday, September 10

Djou: CD1 Voted for GOP Guv Last 4 Times

Wednesday, September 8

Hanabusa Outraises Djou in July and August

Tuesday, September 7

Blocked! I Can’t Follow My Congressman on Twitter

New Djou TV Ad: Speaking Without Speaking

August 2010

Thursday, August 5

Djou: We Have An Early Lead!

July 2010

Friday, July 30

Djou and Caldwell Latest To Undergo Fact Checks

Thursday, July 29

Djou: Raising $3.8 Trillion In New Taxes a Bad Idea

Friday, July 23

Hawaii Links for Friday, July 23

Tuesday, July 20

Hawaii Links for Tuesday, July 20

Wednesday, July 14

Hawaii Links for Wednesday, June 14

Tuesday, July 13

Hawaii Links for Tuesday, July 13

Friday, July 2

Djou Explains ‘No’ Vote On Campaign Finance Bill

June 2010

Wednesday, June 30

Hawaii Links for Wednesday, June 30

Friday, June 25

Hawaii Links for Friday, June 25

Tuesday, June 15

Hawaii Links for Tuesday, June 15

May 2010

Thursday, May 27

Discussion: Hawaii 1st Congressional District Election

Monday, May 24

UPDATE: Monday Morning Quarterbacking On The Djou Win

Analysis: Civil Beat Poll Points To Dems’ November Dilemma

The Price Tag Of A Seat In Congress: $12.31 Per Vote

Mr. Djou Goes To Washington

Sunday, May 23

1st District Voters Send Djou to Congress

Friday, May 21

Mail-In Voting The Winner In Special Election

Tuesday, May 18

Website 101 With Ed, Colleen and Charles

Thursday, May 13

Discussion: 1st Congressional District Special Election

Djou: ‘National Attention Is On This Race’

Majority of 1st District Voters Likely To Be Unrepresented

Wednesday, May 12

UPDATE: The Four Bs On Hawaii Politics

Tuesday, May 11

UPDATE: Djou resignation would not trigger special election

National Democrats Pull Out Of Hawaii After Civil Beat Poll

Monday, May 10

Civil Beat Poll: Djou On Way To May 22 Victory