Democrats Case, Tokuda win Hawaii’s congressional seats

  • Jill Tokuda, Democratic candidate in Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, waves during a Democratic gathering on election night Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

HONOLULU — Voters in Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District elected a new U.S. representative Tuesday after the incumbent, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, decided not to seek re-election.

Democrat Jill Tokuda defated Republican Joe Akana in the district covering rural Oahu and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands.

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In the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Case will be sent back to Washington to represent urban Honolulu for another two-year term. He defeated Republican Conrad Kress.

Hawaii has two seats in the U.S. House.

A look at the races:

NEW REPRESENTATIVE: Tokuda on Tuesday defeated Republican Joe Akana to become the new congressperson for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers rural Oahu and the rest of the state.

Tokuda served in the state Senate for 12 years, where she was chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee.

Tokuda is also a small business owner and has served as the external affairs director for the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center on Maui.

Akana is a businessman and former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst.

Tokuda had been heavily favored to win in the Democratic stronghold.

Tokuda replaces the incumbent, Kahele, who will leave Congress after serving one term. The Hilo native decided to run for governor instead of returning to Washington, but lost to Lt. Gov. Josh Green in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

NAVY SEAL CHALLENGES INCUMBENT: Case, the incumbent, beat former Navy SEAL Conrad Kress, a Republican in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.

Case had been heavily favored to win the seat. The Blue Dog Democrat is in his second stint in Congress.

He initially served from 2002-2007 representing the 2nd Congressional District before he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate. He was first elected to serve Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in 2019.

Case is co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, an official caucus in the U.S. House for 19 fiscally conservative Democrats. Its website says it’s “dedicated to pursuing fiscally-responsible policies, ensuring a strong national defense for our country, and transcending party lines to get things done for the American people.”

The 1st Congressional District covers urban Honolulu.

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