Ending months of speculation, former U.S. Rep. Charles Djou announced Thursday morning that he is entering the Republican primary for the seat he once held.
Djou made his plans to seek the 1st Congressional District seat on KSSK radio’s “Perry and Price” show after tweeting an hour earlier he would be doing so “after considerable thought and prayer.”
Djou, 43, served about six months following a special election for the 1st Congressional District seat in May 2010 after then-Congressman Neil Abercrombie resigned to focus on running for governor. Djou then lost a race for a full-term to current incumbent Colleen Hanabusa.
Hanabusa is foregoing re-election this year to challenge U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.
Before becoming a congressman, Djou served on the Honolulu City Council and state House of Representatives.
Djou, a lawyer, is the first Republican to publicly announce that he will seek the seat. The latest state Office of Elections report shows no one has sought nomination papers as a Republican.
A crowd of candidates in the Democratic primary include City Council members Ikaika Anderson, Stanley Chang and Joey Manahan, state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, state Sen. Will Espero, state Rep. Mark Takai and community activist Kathryn Xian.
A February poll sponsored by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now showed Kim as the front-runner in the Democratic primary, with Takai about 10 points behind. Chang and Anderson finished third and fourth, respectively.