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Rep. Ito to run for Tokuda’s seat in Senate

Star-Advertiser; September 7, 2017

Democratic state Rep. Ken Ito has announced he plans to run for the Windward Oahu state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jill Tokuda.

State Rep. Jarrett Keohokalole, 33, a Democrat, has already announced he also plans to seek that Senate seat.

Tokuda (D, Kaneohe-Kailua) announced last month she plans to leave the state Senate to run for lieutenant governor next year.

Ito, whose district includes Kaneohe, Maunawili and Olomana, was first elected to the House in 1994, and has served there for 23 years.

“I’m running because Windward Oahu needs an effective advocate in the Senate that understands the issues facing our communities and the experience to establish and realize a vision to improve the lives of working families, from our keiki to our kupuna,” Ito said in a news release.

During his years in the House, Ito has been chairman of the Water, Land and Ocean Resources Committee; the Education Committee; the Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee; and the Veterans, Military and International Affairs, and Culture and the Arts Committee.

Ito, 73, has a doctorate in global education from the University of Southern California, and was involved in the establishment of charter schools in Hawaii.

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