Republican Charles Djou officially announced Thursday his run for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.
The seat is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who will challenge Sen. Brian Schatz as the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in August’s primary election.
Djou made the announcement at 7:10 a.m. during a radio interview on KSSK. He says he decided to run after the families of four Hawaii soldiers who died last year did not receive benefits because it happened during the government shutdown.
“I realized that very easily could have been me and it could have been my family that could have been put through that and I think this is exactly what is wrong with our government today,” Djou said.
In 2010, Djou served six months as a U.S. Representative after winning a special election to fill current Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s seat. He lost to Rep. Colleen Hanabusa in the November general election.
So far, Djou’s only competitor in the Republican primary is Georgia resident Stanley Allan Levene.
However, the race is expected to be a crowded one for Democrats.
State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim, state Rep. K. Mark Takai and human rights activist Kathryn Xian have filed election papers, although Honolulu City Council members Ikaika Anderson, Joey Manahan and Stanley Chang have declared runs.