Former Honolulu city councilman and Hawaii congressman Charles Djou has announced he will enter the race to unseat U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, but will suspend his campaign during an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
Djou, an attorney, is a major in the U.S. Army Reserve. He will deploy after Labor Day and will not return until late March.
The race against Hanabusa is a rematch of their 2010 race. Djou, a Republican, made the announcement at noon in Honolulu with former Hawaii congresswoman Pat Saiki at his side.
“We need him in the United States Congress,” Saiki said.
If the two candidates win their parties’ primaries, it will be the third race between Djou and Democrat Hanabusa.
Djou, a former East Oahu city councilman, briefly held the seat when he beat Hanabusa and Democrat Ed Case in a May 2010 three-way special election to replace Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for governor.
Hanabusa defeated Djou by 6 percentage points in their first rematch, last November, when the Democrat won 20 out of 25 state House districts.