Donna Mercado Kim

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Donna Mercado Kim is the former president of the Hawaii State Senate. She has been a senator since 2000, representing District 14, which includes Kapalama, Alewa, Kalihi Valley, Fort Shafter, Moanalua Gardens and Valley and portions of Halawa and Aiea.

She is the first Filipino-American to be Hawaii Senate president. She replaced Sen. Shan Tsutsui who was appointed to as lieutenant governor in December 2012.

In 2014, Kim announced she would run for the 1st Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa who is running for U.S. Senate. Kim faces a number of other candidates in the Aug. 9 Democratic primary but was considered the frontrunner as election season heated up after the Legislature adjourned in May.

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Kim was Hawaii’s 13th Senate president.

Before becoming Senate president, Kim served as vice president from 2011 to 2013 and also from 2003 to 2008.

Previously, Kim chaired a task force which searched for ways to eliminate government waste and save money without cutting core services. With the state facing tough economic times, Kim focused on issues such as fiscal accountability by examining mismanagement practices, contracting procedures and wasteful spending.

In 2013, Kim led an investigative committee that looked into the so-called Wonder Blunder at University of Hawaii at Manoa. The university athletic department spent $200,000 on what it thought was a concert performance by the rock star Stevie Wonder but it turned out to be a scam. Kim has made UH issues a point of focus, including proposals that are aimed at reforming university management and policies.

She has previously served as chair of the Committee on Tourism and Government Operations and the Committee on Accountability. She has also served on the Ways and Means and Higher Education committees.

History

Kim was born in Honolulu and attended the University of Hawaii for two years before transferring to Washington State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 1974.

Donna Mercado Kim
Can Door Knocking Overcome Name Recognition And Money? Courtesy of Carol Fukunaga

Can Door Knocking Overcome Name Recognition And Money?

Activist Carl Campagna runs up against an entrenched incumbent as Sen. Donna Mercado Kim seeks re-election in District 14.
Hanabusa To Run For Takai’s Seat In Congress? PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Hanabusa To Run For Takai’s Seat In Congress?

The Democrat and former congresswoman likely would scare off many potential challengers for the seat she won twice before Takai.
Legislature Passes Airbnb Bill, Others As Session Wanes Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Legislature Passes Airbnb Bill, Others As Session Wanes

Hawaii lawmakers killed, among others, a measure to let psychologists on the neighbor islands prescribe drugs.
Hawaii Senate to Post Résumés of Nominees on Website Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Hawaii Senate to Post Résumés of Nominees on Website

President Kim decides it's important to provide "important information to the public" about gubernatorial appointments to boards and commissions.