HONOLULU, HI – Today, Democrat Jill N. Tokuda announced that she will run for Hawaiʻi’s Second Congressional District, representing part of the island of Oʻahu and the counties of Kauaʻi (islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau), Maui (islands of Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi) and Hawaiʻi Island. The seat is currently held by Congressman Kai Kahele who announced yesterday that he will not seek reelection, running instead for governor of Hawaiʻi. 

“There is urgent work in Congress that needs immediate attention and I know my service to Hawaii can be most effective as a committed advocate in Congress,” said Tokuda. “If elected, I will make it my priority to fight for every dollar for every family across our state. I understand the significant impact that federal dollars have on our economy and residents, and will work hard on behalf of all families, small businesses and children.” 

Tokuda served in the Hawaiʻi State Senate for 12 years (2006-2018), and during her tenure she chaired the Ways and Means Committee, where she was responsible for balancing the state’s $14 billion budget and negotiating the final approval for fiscal measures at the Hawaii Legislature. She also chaired the Labor, Education, Higher Education, and Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs committees and served as Majority Whip.

Tokuda has extensive private sector experience as a small business owner of her own consulting practice. Over the last two years, she took the lead working with the State of Hawaiʻi to track billions of dollars in pandemic relief funding available to all the states, advocating for Hawaii’s fair share.

Currently, Tokuda is the co-director of CyberHawaii, an affiliate of CyberUSA, which supports workforce development in IT/Cyber Security/Data Science as well as works in the community with small businesses and nonprofits to be more cyber aware and resilient. She is also the external affairs director for the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, focused on securing public and private support for operations and facility expansion on the island of Maui.

Tokuda received her Bachelors of Arts degree in International Relations and a minor in Japanese Studies from the George Washington University. She currently serves on the board of the Hawaii Data Collaborative and is an advisory board member of the Hawaii Budget and Policy Center.

In 2004, Tokuda was a key founding member and organizer of the Patsy T. Mink PAC and has continued the PAC’s mission of supporting pro-choice Hawaiʻi Democratic women running for office.

Tokuda, 46, is born and raised in Hawaiʻi and is 4th generation Japanese-American. She currently resides in Kāneʻohe, Hawaiʻi on the island of Oʻahu with her husband Kyle Michibata and their two sons, Matt (age 13) and Aden (age 12). 

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