State Senate President Donna Mercado Kim is running for Congress.
Kim, a Democrat, is seeking the First Congressional District seat, representing urban Honolulu, now held by U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who is running for the U.S. Senate.
Kim made the announcement Wednesday at Iolani Palace.
She has been in elected office for 31 years, including serving as chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means and Tourism committees. She was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1982 and served on the Honolulu City Council from 1985 until 2000, when she was elected to the Senate.
Kim also chaired a Senate committee looking into the loss of $200,000 by the University of Hawaii Athletic Department in a failed attempt to put on a Stevie Wonder concert as a fundraiser for UH athletics.
Kim does not have to resign her state Senate seat, representing Kalihi Valley, Moanalua and Haleiwa, to run for Congress. Her term expires in 2016.
Kim joins state Sen. Will Espero, state Rep. K. Mark Takai, activist Kathryn Xian, and Honolulu City Councilmen Stanley Chang and Ikaika Anderson in the primary.
“The stalemate in Congress is impacting all of us. We need strong representatives on Capitol Hill who understand our local and state government, who is unafraid to hold government accountable, who has asked the hard questions and yet still able to coalesce with others to get things done,” Kim said in a news release.