Donna Mercado Kim enters race for Congress

By Brenton Awa
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:13:36 AM HST
Updated On: Nov 07 2013 07:09:50 AM HST

Donna Kim has officially announced her entrance in the race for the U.S Representative seat being vacated by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

HONOLULU -

The race for Colleen Hanabusa's soon to be vacated seat in the First Congressional District is up for grabs and a sixth candidate has entered the field.

The packed race for congress may have a new front runner. You won't get Donna Mercado Kim to say that herself, but she will admit that she has the most experience of any candidate in this race.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.

"I consider myself the most experienced and I consider myself the one who's had numerous experiences in local and state government that's been preparing me for this job," said Kim. "With my leadership positions, I've been able to bring people together, I've been able to coalesce, to make things happen, to solve problems, and I will take that to Washington D.C."

Kim will now take on fellow senator Will Espero along with City Council members Ikaika Anderson and Stanley Chang, State Representative Mark Takai, and community activist Kathryn Xian.

KITV4 Political expert Neal Milner says the first key in a crowded race is to set yourself apart from the each other.

"The second thing that it does is to be able to create some kind of narrative, some kind of story the way Tulsi Gabbard did when she ran that's compelling enough so that people take a good look at you," said Milner.

Kim's had plenty of good looks from voters. The current state senate president has never lost a race in her 31 years in office, serving on City Council, the House of Representatives, and State Senate

She recently voted no to the marriage equality bill, saying her decision was based on both her values and those values of the people she represents.

"Like in any other issue that's controversial, I think one has to really look into what they believe in and what their voters and their district would like their representative to have them say," said Kim.

Last year, Kim lead a Senate committee that investigated the failed Stevie Wonder Concert and questioned UH officials about their handling of the situation.

"Holding government accountable, speaking loudly and speaking strongly and speaking from doing my homework. That is what I hope people judge me on and not one issue," said Kim.

Donna Mercado Kim says she's aiming to raise about $1.2-million for her campaign. The IBEW Local 1260 announced their endorsement of her Tuesday.

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