U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele says he will return to his full-time job as an airline pilot and continue his National Guard service when he leaves office on Tuesday.
Former state Sen. Jill Tokuda will replace Kahele when the Congress begins its 2023 session on Tuesday. Kahele chose not to run for reelection for a second term, instead launching an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
Kahele thanked his constituents in a written and video statement released today.
“It has been my greatest honor to serve as your United States Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District,” Kahele said. “I am extremely proud of the work Team Kahele accomplished and the aloha spirit we brought to our nation’s capital.”
Kahele’s office said he will immediately return to full-time employment as a Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 captain and continue to serve as a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Air National Guard, where he is a graduate student in the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania.
Kahele noted that in his term in office he delivered over $26 million in community project federal funding to his district, which covers the neighbor islands and rural Oahu. He said the money will support nonprofits, county and state priority projects, and federally qualified health centers on every island