The retirement of a longtime Hawaii state senator has several candidates looking to win the open seat.

Democrat Suzanne Chun Oakland, whose District 13 includes Liliha, Palama, Iwilei, Nuuanu and neighboring areas, already has state Rep. Karl Rhoads, a fellow Dem, in the running.

Now Kim Coco Iwamoto, another Democrat, is in the race as well.

Kim Coco Iwamoto.

Kim Coco Iwamoto.


“I think it is important to act on the legacy of Sen. Chun Oakland and to serve our community from the keiki to the kapuna,” said Iwamoto, who served as an elected member of the Board of Education from 2006 to 2011. “I feel very fortunate to be her constituent, and my first step is to continue that compassionate lawmaking.”

Iwamoto said she worked with the senator on the Safe Schools Act of 2011 regarding anti-bullying.

If elected, she wants to focus on full funding for schools, including early childhood education and the repair and maintenance backlog.

Democrat Keone Nakoa has also filed to run in District 13, as has Libertarian Harry Ozols.

Iwamoto is a former columnist for Civil Beat.

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