Rep.-elect Kai Kahele (D-Hawaii-02)

Rep.-elect Kai Kahele (D-Hawaii-02)

Date of birth: March 28, 1974
Residence: Hilo, Hawaii
Occupation: Hawaii state senator; Hawaiian Airlines pilot; Lt. Col., Hawaii Air National Guard
Education: B.S., University of Hawaii at Mānoa
Family: wife, Maria; three daughters

In early 2019, Kai Kahele (D) announced the bold move of running against sitting Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D), a member of his own party, in a primary. But when Gabbard dropped out of the House race to run for president, it cleared the way for Kahele.

Kahele has served in the Hawaii state Senate since 2016, when he was appointed to fill the seat left open by the death of his father.

He also serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Air National Guard and has flown combat missions in Iraq. On the civilian side, he serves as a commercial airline pilot for Hawaiian Airlines.

Kahele will bring some legislative skills as well, as he currently serves as the majority floor leader for Democrats in the state Senate.

-Peter Sullivan