WASHINGTON — State Sen. Kai Kahele’s congressional campaign announced Monday that he raised more than $250,000 in the first quarter of the year in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who’s running for president but could also simultaneously seek re-election.
Kahele said the money came from 3,231 donors, which averages just over $77 per contribution.
The press release didn’t include any details about who has donated to Kahele’s campaign or what he has spent.
The last day of the fundraising quarter was March 31 and Federal Election Commission rules give candidates until April 15 to file their paperwork.
Kahele could not be reached for comment Monday, but in his press release he said he expects his campaign to develop into one of the largest grassroots fundraising efforts in the state as he seeks the 2nd Congressional District seat covering rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.
“I look forward to continuing my travels across the district and hearing directly from the people on what their concerns are and how I can best represent them in Washington, D.C.,” Kahele said. “If elected, being their voice in Congress will be my sole focus and number one priority.”
The 41-year-old Kahele will likely need all the money he can get if he has any hope of unseating Gabbard, who consistently polls as one of the state’s most popular politicians.
Kahele, a Hawaiian Airlines pilot and member of the Hawaii Air National Guard, has already received significant backing from several of Hawaii’s former governors, including John Waihee, Ben Cayetano and Neil Abercrombie.
All three serve as honorary co-chairs of his campaign committee.