Hawaii 1st Congressional District

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Hawaii has two congressional districts, the 1st and 2nd. The 1st Congressional District is essentially urban Honolulu, but it stretches from Hawaii Kai in East Honolulu to Waipahu in west Oahu and Mililani in central Oahu. The district includes Pearl City, Waimalu, Aiea and the downtown area where Hawaii’s government offices and many of its top businesses are concentrated. The 2nd Congressional District comprises all the other areas of Oahu and the counties of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island.


In 2014, U.S. Rep Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat, gave up the seat to run for the U.S. Senate, a race she lost in the Democratic primary. Democrat Mark Takai, a state legislator, and GOP contender Charles Djou, who held the seat briefly and has run multiple times, were vying to replace her. Takai won but died before finishing his term and Tulsi Gabbard was elected to fill  his vacancy in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016.

The 2011 Reapportionment Commission redrew new district boundaries based on 2010 census data. One change meant that Hanabusa’s Ko Olina home, which was located in the 2nd District, is now within the 1st.

Hawaii congressional representatives are not required to live in the district they represent, though the practice has been criticized.


About half of the nearly 700,000 people who live in the 1st Congressional District are registered voters. The district has a diverse population in terms of ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and so the congressional representative has diverse constituencies with varying needs.

For example, issues facing residents of Kalihi, an area near downtown that includes some of the poorest neighborhoods on Oahu, differ considerably from Kahala and Diamond Head, an East Honolulu region that is among the wealthiest in the state. Some neighborhoods, like downtown, are densely populated urban areas; others, like Aina Haina, are bedroom communities; and some, like Waipio, include agricultural-zoned land.

The district also has major academic institutions like the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the major transportation hubs of Honolulu Harbor and the Honolulu International Airport, industrial and warehouse cores, the tourism center of Waikiki, and military facilities such as Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.

From statehood in 1959 until 1963, Hawaii had only one representative in the U.S. House, as it did during the territorial period from 1900 until 1959. In 1963 Hawaii began sending two statewide at-large representatives to Congress.

The 1st Congressional District was created in 1971 and has mostly been occupied by Democrats: Spark Matsunaga (1971-1977), Cec Heftel (1977-1986) and Neil Abercrombie (1986-1987, 1991-2010). Pat Saiki (1987-1991) was the first Republican to serve the district.

Despite the one-party dominance of Democrats, recent campaign results suggest there is significant support for Republicans in the district.

In the 2008 presidential election, 70 percent of the vote in Honolulu — which includes a portion of the 2nd Congressional District but primarily comprises the 1st — went to Barack Obama, who was born in Honolulu. That same year the incumbent Abercrombie was re-elected with 70 percent of the vote.

In 2004, however, Democratic John Kerry edged President George W. Bush 51-48 percent on Oahu. Vice President Dick Cheney campaigned in Hawaii during the closing days of the race, as did one of Kerry’s daughters. Republican Dalton Tanonaka managed to pick up 33 percent of the vote to Abercrombie’s 60 percent that year.

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore defeated Bush 54-39 percent, in Hawaii while Abercrombie topped Republican Phil Meyers 62-26 percent.

Hawaii 1st Congressional District

November 2017

Monday, November 13

Chad Blair: Why Would Anyone Want To Run For Congress?

October 2016

Tuesday, October 18

Judge: Angela Kaaihue’s Name To Remain On Ballot — Twice

August 2016

Friday, August 26

Hawaii Democrats To Challenge Kaaihue’s Candidacy

Wednesday, August 10

Congressional Candidates Try To Stave Off A Hanabusa ‘Coronation’

Tuesday, August 2

Election For Vacant House Seat

Services Set For Mark Takai

July 2016

Wednesday, July 20

How Two Different People Could Win The Same US House Seat

Sunday, July 17

Gabbard: $1.9M Cash On Hand

Sunday, July 10

EMILY’s List Supports Hanabusa

Thursday, July 7

House: Bar Women From Draft

June 2016

Wednesday, June 15

Former Hawaii Congresswoman Backs GOP Candidate Against Hanabusa

Tuesday, June 7

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

Wednesday, June 1

Lei Ahu Isa For Congress

May 2016

Sunday, May 29

Takai Indicates Support For Hanabusa

Tuesday, May 24

Hanabusa To Run For Takai’s Seat In Congress?

Thursday, May 19

Rep. Mark Takai Of Hawaii Will Not Run For Re-Election

Tuesday, May 10

New Political Parties Get Their Shot On Hawaii Ballots This Year

March 2016

Tuesday, March 29

Takai Says He’s Sticking With Clinton — For Now

February 2016

Monday, February 1

Undeterred By Cancer, Takai Wants A Second Term In Congress

November 2014

Tuesday, November 4

Hawaii 1st Congressional District: Takai Defeats Djou

October 2014

Tuesday, October 28

Civil Beat Poll: Takai-Djou Race Too Close To Call

Friday, October 24

Hawaii Candidates for Congress Fundraise to the Finish Line

Friday, October 17

Ad Watch: Takai Plays the Veterans Card. Again.

Wednesday, October 15

Takai Campaign Raises More Money, But Djou Has More Cash on Hand

Thursday, October 9

Djou Says He’s a ‘Pragmatist’ Ready to ‘Get Things Done’ for Hawaii

September 2014

Tuesday, September 30

Hawaii Candidates for Congress Seek More Money as Election Nears

Tuesday, September 9

Takai Says He Wants to ‘Knock Some Sense’ into Congress

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

Saturday, August 9

Hawaii Congressional Districts: Takai Triumphs

July 2014

Monday, July 28

Republican Djou Leads CD1 Money Race as Democrats Slug It Out

May 2014

Tuesday, May 20

Ad Watch: Chang Touts Progressive Positions in First TV Spot

April 2014

Monday, April 21

Money Floods Campaign Coffers in CD1 Race

Wednesday, April 2

Ad Watch: Union Recruits Honolulu City Council Members to Fight Kaiser

February 2014

Sunday, February 2

Senate President Leaps to Pole Position in Hawaii’s Congressional Money Race

October 2013

Wednesday, October 16

Who Is Winning the CD1 Campaign Money Chase?

Tuesday, October 1

‘Wild West Shootout’ for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District Seat

August 2013

Friday, August 9

Doing the Math on Hawaii’s 1st District Race

July 2013

Monday, July 29

A Tale of Two Hawaiis

June 2013

Saturday, June 1

Want To Run For Congress? Political Insiders Only, Please

May 2013

Thursday, May 16

Will A New Federal Shield Law Replace The Soon-To-Be-Dead Hawaii Law?

April 2013

Thursday, April 25

Handicapping The Race To Replace Hanabusa

October 2012

Monday, October 29

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

Thursday, October 4

Civil Beat Poll – Dems Lead Congress Races

August 2012

Thursday, August 9

Hanabusa, Djou On Collision Course For Rematch

February 2012

Sunday, February 5

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

December 2011

Friday, December 23

2011 Year in Review — DC808

Wednesday, December 21

Hawaii Election 2012: A Preview

August 2011

Wednesday, August 17

DISCUSSION: Hawaii 1st Congressional District Election — 2012

Saturday, August 6

Redistricting Panel OKs Plan to Include Ko Olina in 1st Congressional District

Thursday, August 4

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

January 2011

Thursday, January 6

Hanabusa: Health-Care Repeal Won’t Happen

November 2010

Wednesday, November 3

Hanabusa Captured Case Voters to Win 1st Congressional District

Colleen Hanabusa Throws a Victory Party — A Slideshow by Brian Tseng

Monday, November 1

Hanabusa Takes Back Hawaii’s First Congressional District for Democrats

October 2010

Sunday, October 31

The Last Word: Colleen Hanabusa on Why She Would Best Represent Hawaii in Congress

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

Friday, October 29

Where’s Lingle?

Hanabusa: Stimulus Created 1,931 Direct Jobs in Hawaii

Thursday, October 28

Mainland Money, Attack Ads Pouring Into 1st District

Tuesday, October 26

On Second Thought, Djou Not So Thrifty

Djou: I Vote With Democrats 62 Percent of the Time

Monday, October 25

GOP Control of House Would Mean New Role for Djou, Hanabusa

Like It Or Not, Djou Endorsed By Tea Party

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

Hanabusa: Changes in Federal Laws Can Express Hawaii Values

Thursday, October 21

Hanabusa: Djou Sent Four Fliers In First 23 Days in Congress

Wednesday, October 20

Rubber Stamp vs. Dr. No

Photo of Hanabusa Makes Djou Look Bad

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

At Chamber Forum, Djou, Hanabusa Talk Commerce

Djou: Democrats Are Pushing Largest Tax Increase in History

Tuesday, October 12

Hanabusa: GM Has Paid Off Its Bailout Debt

Monday, October 11

Professional Roots: Leasing Cell Towers Taught Djou About Business

Professional Roots: Losing Powerlines Case Taught Hanabusa About Justice

Wednesday, October 6

The Truth About Djou and Schools

The Truth About Hanabusa and Government Waste

Tuesday, October 5

Djou, Hanabusa Arguing About Ads

New Poll Calls Hanabusa-Djou a “Dead Heat”

September 2010

Monday, September 27

Obama Backs Hanabusa, but GOP Not Scared

Thursday, September 23

Colleen Hanabusa Answers 10 Questions From Civil Beat

Charles Djou Answers 10 Questions From Civil Beat

Wednesday, September 22

Congressional Candidates Answer Civil Beat Questions

1st Congressional Race Has National Implications

Wednesday, September 15

General Election Set for U.S. Congress Races

2 Ads Attack Djou, But 1 Is Gentler

Friday, September 10

New Hanabusa TV Ad: Old Time Hawaii

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

Wednesday, August 25

Congress Race Flying Below the Radar — For Now

Saturday, August 7

Hanabusa: I Cut Waste and “Saved Us Millions”

July 2010

Thursday, July 29

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

Thursday, July 15

With Friends Like These …

June 2010

Friday, June 18

Hawaii Links For Friday, June 18

Tuesday, June 15

Hawaii Links for Tuesday, June 15

May 2010

Thursday, May 27

Discussion: Hawaii 1st Congressional District Election

Monday, May 24

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

Tuesday, May 11

Civil Beat Poll: Obama Still Riding Wave In Hawaii

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