© 2023 Hawaiʻi Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Democrats Case, Tokuda win US House seats

HONOLULU — Voters in Hawaiʻi’s 2nd Congressional District elected a new U.S. representative Tuesday after the incumbent, U.S. Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele, decided not to seek reelection.

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

Tokuda thanked a cheering crowd at a post-election celebration for their support and work to win over voters by knocking on doors, making phone calls and waving at cars while holding signs.

Jill Tokuda, Democratic candidate in the state's 2nd Congressional District, waves to people at a Democratic gathering Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Marco Garcia/AP
FR132414 AP
Jill Tokuda, Democratic candidate in the state's 2nd Congressional District, waves to people at a Democratic gathering Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

“We reminded them at the end of the day it was always about them, the people of Hawaiʻi,” she said. “Our kids, making sure that they would be able to have a future and a home here in this place that we love.”

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.

Case celebrated Democratic wins in Hawaiʻi as well as strong results for the party nationally.

“Because our message is better. Because we represent all of the people. Because we defend democracy, because we defend the rights of people. Because we care about everybody, because we are inclusive, because we do not operate special interests, because all the things that we have taken to heart here in Hawaiʻi,” Case said to the crowd at a Democratic Party celebration at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.

Hawaiʻi is one of the nation’s most reliably blue states, with Democrats dominating federal and statewide elected offices. Joe Biden won 63% of the vote in 2020, while 34% cast ballots for Donald Trump.

Hawaiʻi has two seats in the U.S. House. A look at the races:

2nd Congressional District - New representative

Tokuda on Tuesday defeated Republican Joe Akana to become the new congressperson for Hawaiʻi’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers rural Oʻahu 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.

1st Congressional District - Navy SEAL challenges incumbent

Case, the incumbent, beat former Navy SEAL Conrad Kress, a Republican, in Hawaiʻi’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 Hawaiʻi’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.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.
Related Stories