In 2018, Jill Tokuda finished behind Josh Green but ahead of Bernard Carvalho, Jr., Kim Coco Iwamoto and Will Espero in the race for lieutenant governor.

On Wednesday Tokuda officially launched a second bid for the state’s No. 2 gig.

Since leaving office three years ago, she says she has been busy helping to track federal aid to the state through the Hawaii Data Collaborative, delivering meals to seniors, packing and distributing food baskets and working with organizations from Waimanalo to Kahuku.

Sen. Jill Tokuda in the Senate chamber. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2018

“These last two years have been unlike anything we could have imagined,” she said in an email announcement. “It was as if time stopped with Covid, and we found ourselves appreciating and focusing on what is most important — our health, taking care of loved ones, and supporting our friends and neighbors in need.”

She added, “All of this further strengthened my resolve and desire to return to elected office. Right now, we need government leaders who understand the struggles and hopes of our families, to then navigate and get things done.”

Tokuda, a mother of two “and an aunty to many,” previously served in the Hawaii State Senate, where she chaired the Ways and Means Committee for a few years.

She says she wants to build on the following efforts:

  • “Increasing access to preschool for all our keiki, and prioritizing support for young children and their families for food, shelter, and health care services.”
  • “Developing viable career pathways, beginning in high school for a strong workforce with a focus on knowledge sectors of IT, Data Analysis, and Cybersecurity for a more resilient Hawaii economy.”

Green is now widely expected to run for governor next year. The primary is Aug. 13.

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