'Wild West Shootout' for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District Seat

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

On the same day the U.S. government neared a shutdown because a dysfunctional Congress cannot agree on how to fund it, a fifth candidate entered the race for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District.

In spite of the chaos going on in Washington, plenty of people still want to serve, even in a House of Representatives under the thumb of the GOP's tea party faction.

Likely contenders include Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, who initially told colleagues she would not run but now says she is considering a campaign after all.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who has run for Congress three times, is said to still be a possible contender. Hannemann did not respond to a phone message Monday.

And Daniel Dae Kim, the Hawaii Five-0 star, is rumored to also be thinking about switching to politics, following in the footsteps of his friend Tulsi Gabbard, who holds the 2nd Congressional District.

Reached via a spokeswoman, Kim said in a statement to Civil Beat Monday, "Though I've always followed politics and am flattered by the suggestion, right now my focus and commitment is to Hawaii Five-0."

Whether Kim — Daniel or Donna — jumps in or not, the race for CD1 is getting more interesting.

"You could be looking at a Wild West shootout where 20 percent might win this race," said sate Sen. Will Espero, one of the five announced candidates. "There could be two or three others, and the more that get in the race, the lower the number of voters are going to be needed to win this."

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