City Councilman Ikaika Anderson made it official today, formally announcing his candidacy in next year’s Democratic primary for Congress.
Anderson, 35, will seek the seat in the 1st Congressional District representing urban Oahu.
“I believe that with the number of candidates in the field, there will be great benefit to Hawaii’s voters in Congressional District 1 and that they will be provided with a number of choices which makes for a healthy democracy,” Anderson said ahead of the formal announcement. “I’m a strong believer that we need to shore up our middle class and as a member of the middle class myself, Congress needs to strengthen the middle class and ensure that assistance is given to those trying to get to the middle class so that they can enjoy the American Dream.
Anderson represents the Waimanalo-Kailua-Kaneohe district on the Council. Candidates for Congress are not required to live in the district.
He joins fellow City Councilman Stanley Chang in the race, along with state Sen. Will Espero (D, Ewa Beach-Iroqupis Point) and state Rep. Mark Takai (D, Halawa-Aiea-Newtown).
Anderson is in the second year of his first full term on the Council and is not required to resign to run for Congress. He won a special election in 2009 to fill the vacancy in District 3 (Waimanalo-Kailua-Kaneohe) left by the death of Barbara Marshall, for whom he worked as a legislative aide.
No Republicans have announced their candidacy in the race.
The seat is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa who is challenging U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz for his seat to fill out the remaining two years in the term of former U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who died in December.