The highest-ranking Republican elected official in Hawaii plans to run for governor in 2018.

Rep. Andria Tupola, the minority leader in the state House of Representatives, said she will make a formal announcement next month.

“Yes, we will announce,” she said Thursday afternoon. “We are getting closer, just solidifying stuff like our website, logos and a video we are producing. I hope to announce in November.”

Tupola, 37, represents District 43 (Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei and Maili).

She said she would offer more details about her candidacy once the campaign becomes official.

Rep Andria Tupola Republican party office at Pineapple room, Ala Moana Center. 3 may 2017
Rep. Tupola at Ala Moana Center in May. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

But she has been holding rallies on Maui and Oahu.

She has also scheduled two campaign fundraisers this month and plans to support a candidate to replace her in the House.

State Rep. Bob McDermott dropped out of the running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination last month.

Meanwhile, John Carroll, an attorney and Republican who has unsuccessfully sought higher office several times, is running for governor.

Earlier this year, Tupola unsuccessfully ran for chairwoman of the Hawaii Republican Party.

According to her legislative biography, she is an honors graduate of the Kamehameha Schools Kapalama campus on Oahu.

She attended Brigham Young University in Utah, where she was student body vice president.

During college, Tupola said she took a year and a half off to complete a Christian service mission for the Mormon church in Venezuela. 

Gov. David Ige has said he is seeking re-election. He will face U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the Democratic primary.

Democrats have long dominated Hawaii politics. Since statehood in 1959, only two Republicans have served as governor.

The party is outnumbered 46 to five in the House and has no senators in the 25-member Senate.

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