While Kai Kahele has not officially announced that he is leaving Congress to run for governor, efforts to replace him in Washington, D.C., are building.

On Tuesday Tommy Waters, the chair of the Honolulu City Council, filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to began a possible run for the 2nd Congressional District. His principal campaign committee is called Tommy Waters for Congress.

And on Thursday Jill Tokuda, a former state senator, also filed with the FEC, calling her committee Tokuda for Congress. Both are Democrats.

News reports that Kahele, who was elected to CD2 in 2020, continue to surface. Roll Call reported Friday on a Punchbowl News report, noting that the Democrat “is the second native Hawaiian to represent the state in Congress, following in the footsteps of the late Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, a family friend.”

Both news sources cited Civil Beat’s reporting on Kahele’s preference for voting in the House by proxy and of his continued work as a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines while in Congress.

In a related development, state Rep. Patrick Pihana Branco, a freshman Democratic legislator, said he would be making a formal announcement on his CD2 intentions next week.

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