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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, June 7, 2008

Kawananakoa will run for state House

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Quentin Kawananakoa

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Former state House Minority Leader Quentin Kawananakoa yesterday announced he will run for the state House seat representing the 51st District (Lanikai, Waimanalo) this year.

Kawananakoa, who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress two years ago, said running for office again was a decision "that took a lot of time to come to."

"I hadn't intended again to run for office, but I guess it's in my blood," said the longtime Republican. He said he was born in the district and wants to give back to the community and work with legislators of both parties.

Democratic state Rep. Tommy Waters currently represents the district but announced last month that he will not run for re-election. As of yesterday, three Democrats had pulled candidacy papers for the seat: Justin-Michael Anderson, Jason Bradshaw and Christopher K.C. Lee.

The district has been politically competitive in the past.

Among the issues Kawana-nakoa said he will discuss during the campaign are developing jobs in the area and promoting local diversified agriculture in Waimanalo. He also said he wants to provide more support to charter schools and shift education resources and control to the local school level.

Kawananakoa said he would push for greater use of alternative natural energy resources and help protect the environment.

Kawananakoa, an attorney, currently serves on the Honolulu Fire Commission. He was an heir to the Campbell Estate fortune, receiving millions of dollars last year when the estate transformed from a trust to a successor company.

He served in the state House from 1994 to 1998, representing the Punchbowl-Pauoa area. He ran for Congress in 1998 and was favored to win the Republican nomination but abandoned the race less than a month before the primary election, citing hypertension and other health problems.

He launched a campaign for the 2nd Congressional District in 2006 but lost the Republican primary to Bob Hogue.

"It's exciting that Quentin has decided to run for the state House," said former Hawai'i Republican Party chairman Sam Aiona. "He would be a great asset to the House and he would push for issues that we've been fighting for for a long time."

Kawananakoa and his wife, Elizabeth, have two sons.

Reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com.