Councilman Stanley Chang sets sights on Congress

By Andrew Pereira
Published On: Apr 24 2013 06:24:00 PM HST

The campaign signs are printed, the website is online and Councilman Stanley Chang has his sights set on Congress.

HONOLULU -

First term City Councilman Stanley Chang announced a run for Congress Wednesday, saying he's prepared to bring "fresh ideas" to Capitol Hill.

"It's about investing in our future, it's about our families, our children and fighting for a better quality of life, not just two years from now, but 10, 20, 50 (and) for generations to come," Chang said, as he was surrounded by about two dozen supporters at the corner of Punchbowl and Pohukaina streets in downtown Honolulu.

Chang, the son of immigrant parents from China, who graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, will run as a Democrat for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who will challenge Sen. Brian Schatz in the 2014 election, according to a source close to her campaign.

Chang shied away from discussing specific policies that he would champion in Congress, but when pressed for details, he said he supports President Barack Obama's current push for gun control legislation and favors same-sex marriage, but is concerned about unbalanced federal budgets runaway deficit spending.

"When we're talking about sustainability of our federal government, our nation that we believe in ... I think that needs to be our main focus and our main commitment," said Chang.

Change, 30, was elected to the City Council's District 4 in 2010 at the age of 28. He will finish his term at the end of 2014. He is not required to resign his council seat while campaigning for Congress, according to the city's chief elections administrator Glen Takahashi.

However, Chang may be opposed by a familiar face in next year's Democratic primary. Fellow councilman Ikaika Anderson, District 3, is currently mulling a run for Hanabusa's House seat.

"I am considering that possibility, if in fact there's an opening, and will talk with my family and supporters and make a decision collectively," Anderson told KITV4.   

Meanwhile, Republican Charles Djou, who once held Chang's council seat and served seven months in the U.S. House, is also taking a wait-and-see approach. He posted a statement on his website, www.djou.com, Tuesday evening.

"My family and I have not yet made any final decision on running for office next year, but we look forward toward continuing to listen to you and finding the best way to most effectively make a positive difference for our community and our country," wrote Djou.

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