The clock is ticking for any interested candidates for this year’s election.
U.S. Rep. Mark Takai’s recent announcement not to seek re-election due to his cancer battle leaves an open seat in Congress.
On Thursday, former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa began the process for a return to Washington.
She pulled candidate filing papers for Takai’s seat.
“Mark sent me a message before all of you found out. He’s very concerned, but he made his decision based on the best interest of his constituents in CD1,” Hanabusa previously told KHON2. “What I’m doing is making that decision as well, so what is in the best interest of the people in the district that I represent, and I will make that decision very shortly.”
The deadline for candidates to file is June 7, and the primary election takes place Aug. 13.
Hanabusa previously served from 2011 to 2015 before making a bid for U.S. Senate, a race she lost to Sen. Brian Schatz.
“I think that with Colleen running, this is a big name. It will keep some people out, not everyone,” said political analyst and Hawaii Pacific University professor John Hart. “I think if she enters, if she completes and submits paperwork, she will be the presumptive favor for Democratic primary winner, and she will be presumptive person to win this seat back.”
Hanabusa is an attorney who also serves as chairwoman of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board.
Democratic state Sen. Brickwood Galuteria has also pulled papers for the seat.