And now there are two candidates for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.

“This election is going to be about vision, about leadership, about results and experience,” said state Sen. Will Esperosurrounded by supporters in the Capitol Rotunda Sunday (July 21).

“I am running for office because I enjoy working for the people of Hawaii,” he said, adding that he has 22 years of government service in Hawaii in addition to a quarter century of community service.

Espero identified helping Hawaii’s economy as his top priority, as well as the national economy, saying, “We need to get people back to work.”

Espero also vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare.

Asked how he would work with a U.S. House of Representatives dominated by Tea Party Republicans, he said, “It’s going to start with communication. … Hopefully there will be some openings and some cracks where we might be able to work in a bipartisan way to get some legislation passed.”

Espero also expressed support for gay marriage legislation — he voted against civil unions — in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but that churches should be allowed to exempt themselves from performing same-sex marriage ceremonies.

And, he said he was surprised that more candidates had yet to enter the CD1 race, something he expected would change over the next few months. Honolulu Councilmember Stanley Chang jumped in several months ago.


—Chad Blair